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U.S. EPA settles with Clorox for misleading antimicrobial label

Company sold ineffective bleach disinfectant to hospitals

San Francisco—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today a settlement with Clorox Professional Products Company for selling a mislabeled pesticide on over six hundred occasions in 2013. As part of the settlement, Clorox has agreed to pay a $250,000 civil penalty.

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA’s laboratory conducted tests and determined that one of the company’s disinfectant bleach products used in hospitals was not effective against the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. Clorox has removed the claim from its product, marketed as “Dispatch Hospital Cleaner Disinfectant with Bleach.”

“Labels that are false or misleading put people at risk,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Companies must test and correctly label these disinfectant products to protect the health and safety of hospital patients and staff.”

Before selling or distributing any pesticide in the United States, a company must register the pesticide with the EPA under FIFRA. EPA’s laboratory tests antimicrobial products periodically to confirm their approved efficacy, and EPA takes enforcement action to encourage companies to ensure their products are as effective against microorganisms as claimed on their label.

The Clorox Professional Products Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Clorox Company, is based in Oakland, California. The Clorox Company is a manufacturer and marketer of consumer and professional cleaning and disinfecting products, with approximately 7,700 employees worldwide and 2015 sales of $5.7 billion.

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