San Francisco (5/23/2023) CA – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Watts Regulator Company for alleged violations of federal law related to sale or distribution of misbranded water filtration devices and importation of pesticides into the United States. Watts, which is headquartered in Massachusetts, imported devices through a port of entry in Nogales, Arizona. Watts will pay $60,558 in civil penalties as part of the settlement.
EPA Region 9, which covers Arizona, conducted an investigation and determined that Watts was making claims that various water filtration products it was importing reduced water impurities, reduced parasitic cysts, killed microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and mold, and sterilized. The EPA concluded that Watts distributed misbranded devices, which included false and misleading claims on their labeling.
“The sale of misbranded products that claim to sterilize or kill microorganisms is both unlawful and a clear risk to human health,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “EPA is committed to enforcing laws that protect our communities.”
Watts failed to display EPA establishment numbers clearly and prominently on its labels and did not file all necessary importation requirements. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA establishment numbers must appear on the labels of pesticide devices, and the importer of such devices must submit a Notice of Arrival of Pesticides and Devices form before the arrival of the shipment in the United States.
While pesticide devices are not required to be registered by the EPA, companies that sell or distribute them may not make any false or misleading claims, and scientific studies must support all public health claims.
For more information visit EPA’s FIFRA website.
For more information visit EPA’s Importing and Exporting Pesticides and Devices website.
Joshua Alexander (firstname.lastname@example.org)