An October 6, 2020 Consent Agreement and Final Order (CAFO) between EPA and Electrolux Home Products, Inc. resulted in Electrolux agreeing to pay nearly $7 million. EPA settled FIFRA violations in relation to the import and distribution of Electrolux dehumidifiers and air conditioners containing a filter manufactured with nanosilver. Although the products made pesticidal claims, they were not registered with EPA – pesticide products imported into the United States for distribution or sale must be first registered with EPA, unless the product is exempt from FIFRA (e.g., under the treated articles exemption). Marketing materials for the dehumidifiers and air conditioners included the following pesticidal claims “Antimicrobial Filter Cleans air by removing harmful bacteria” and “Our removable, washable filter reduces bacteria, room odors and other airborne particles for a healthier, more comfortable environment.” The CAFO notes that “at no time relevant to the allegations herein was the nanosilver that was used to manufacture the filters that were contained in the [dehumidifiers and air conditioners] registered with the EPA”, in violation of Section 12(a)(1)(A) of FIFRA, 7 U.S.C. § 136j(a)(1)(A). 7 U.S.C. § 136l(a)(1).
Key Points of the Agreement are as follows:
- Electrolux failed to file a Notice of Arrival of Pesticides and Devices for these imports on 141 occasions.
- Electrolux imported unregistered pesticide products on 573 occasions.
- EPA issued a Stop Sale, Use or Removal Order.
- Electrolux offered to rework all dehumidifiers and air conditioners that contained a filter manufactured with nanosilver.
- The Civil Penalty to settle the action is $6,991,400.
- The Civil Penalty includes a 20% reduction in the amount for Electrolux’s good faith efforts to bring their products into compliance with FIFRA.