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Amazon to pay over $1 million in settlement for dangerous, illegal pesticide distribution

By Jennifer Fabiano, AccuWeather staff writer
February 26, 2018, 4:23:44 PM EST

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Amazon LLC settled a years-long case surrounding the distribution of unregistered and misbranded pesticide products on over 2,000 occasions from 2013 to 2016 on Feb. 15.

Amazon will pay an administrative penalty of $1,215,700 as part of the consent agreement and final order, according to an EPA press release. Under the terms of the agreement, Amazon will take steps to monitor and remove illegal pesticides from its website, including an online training course on pesticide regulations and policies.

The free online training course is available to the public in English, Chinese and Spanish. The training will be mandatory for any online seller that wishes to sell pesticides on

According to Bill Dunbar, a public affairs specialist for the EPA, unregistered and misbranded pesticides are not available for purchase on, but remain available for purchase on many websites. The EPA continues to review websites for illegal pesticides.

The unlicensed pesticide products posed as “serious threats to public health in communities across America,” according to Chris Hladick, the EPA Region 10 administrator.

The unregistered and mislabeled products involved in this case are: 3pcs Cockroaches Bugs Ants Roach Kills Chalk, Miraculous Insecticide Chalk, HUA Highly Effective Cockroach Killer Bait Powder, R.B.T.Z. Safe Highly Effective Roach Killer Bait Powder Indoor, Green Leaf Powder Fly Killing Bait and ARS Mat 12.

Any customer who has purchased this product in the past should cease using it immediately, as these products pose major health risks. The threat comes from ingredients that can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, diarrhea and shortness of breath. Another risk is that children can mistake the pesticide chalk for sidewalk chalk.

“The active ingredient in the ARS Mat 12 product can cause coughing, sore throat, nausea, dizziness and chest tightness if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin,” according to the EPA.

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Amazon is not conducting interviews on this topic, according to an Amazon public relations representative, but issued the following comment:

“Regulatory compliance is a top priority at Amazon. Third-party sellers are required to comply with all relevant laws and regulations when listing items for sale on Amazon. When sellers don’t comply with our terms, we work quickly to take action on behalf of customers. We will continue to innovate on behalf of our customers and to work with brands, manufacturers, government agencies, law enforcement, and others to protect the integrity of our marketplace.”

The EPA recommends that those in possession of the products should cease using them and dispose of them in the garbage, not the toilet. Handing of the opened products should be done with disposable gloves.

Anyone in possession of these products can contact the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at 1-800-858-7378,, or for more information.

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