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EPA fines nation's largest manufacturer of hospital-grade disinfectants

August 07, 2009
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ALLENDALE, NJ — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently settled a third pesticide enforcement case against Lonza Inc., the nation’s largest manufacturer of hospital-grade disinfectants, for multiple violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) — the federal law that regulates pesticides, according to a press release.
The combined fines for all three cases exceeds $640,000, making it one of the largest civil penalties assessed under FIFRA, the release stated.
George Pavlou, acting EPA regional administrator, said: "It may surprise people to know that part of EPA’s job is to make sure disinfectants are as effective as they claim, and we take this job very seriously. Products that make claims that are not met put people at risk of getting sick. We are pleased that Lonza has agreed to not only pay penalties but to take steps that will go a long way toward rectifying the problem."
The two products cited for inefficacy in the most recent case were: Saniphor No. 450, registered as a tuberculocide, but found ineffective against a bacterium that causes tuberculosis; and 7 Healthcare Disinfectant Neutral Cleaner, which EPA tests determined did not kill the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, as claimed on the label, the release noted.
According to the release, before any pesticide is sold in the U.S., it must go through EPA''s vigorous registration process, during which companies must provide health studies and environmental information about the product to ensure that its proper use does not cause any negative human or environmental effects.
In addition to monetary fines, the EPA’s earlier settlement with Lonza Inc. required the company to develop a $390,000 supplemental environmental project to institute rigorous quality assurance and product efficacy testing at more than 470 formulators of Lonza products nationwide, the release added.
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