Public notice: antimicrobial pesticides

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(Press Release) — Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, antimicrobial pesticides are essential to controlling and preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

BECQ’s Pesticides Branch along with partnering agencies, the Department of Lands and Natural Resources, and the Division of Customs, monitors and regulates the use and import of pesticides in the CNMI. Antimicrobials and pesticides that are not registered by U.S. EPA are illegal to import, sell, and use in the CNMI.

There are three  types of “public health” antimicrobial pesticides:

1) Sterilizers: used to destroy or eliminate all forms of microbial life; strongest type used in medical and research settings.

2) Disinfectants: used on hard, non-porous surfaces and objects to destroy or inactivate the growth of bacteria and fungi; some target specific viruses; used in medical and residential settings.

3) Sanitizers: used to reduce micro-organisms from inanimate surfaces to levels considered safe as determined by public health regulations; weakest type; some can be used for locations where food products are stored.

Although products like these are commonly used, many of them can cause severe injury. If product label DIRECTIONS FOR USE are not followed this may result in failure to effectively disinfect and kill disease-causing microorganisms. Protect yourself from health hazards that can result from improper use or over-exposure to antimicrobial pesticides are:

  • Eye irritation and damage to vision
  • Skin irritation or rash
  • Respiratory problems and other internal problems 

To ensure that these products are used safely and effectively, anyone who uses antimicrobial pesticides is required by law to follow all the safety precautions and directions for use on the product label. To ensure the public safety anyone who applies pesticides for a commercial purpose must be certified by BECQ Division of Environmental Quality. For more information on pesticides in the CNMI visit the BECQ Pesticides webpage at http://deq.gov.mp/sec.asp?secID=34

The use of pesticide products that are not registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may be harmful to human health or have ineffective disinfection properties. For more information on antimicrobial pesticides visit EPA’s webpage at https://www.epa.gov/pesticides/antimicrobial-pesticides

U.S. EPA had provided an online list of actively registered disinfectant products that are effective for eliminating the coronavirus. Find it at https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2

Pursuant to NMIAC §65-70-605(b) The DEQ director may issue a “Notice Stop Sale, Use or Removal” order to any person who owns, controls, or has custody of a misbranded pesticide. Immediately after receipt of such order no person shall sell, use, or remove the pesticide described in the order except in accordance with the provisions of the order.

BECQ’s Division of Environmental Quality has issued a Notice of Stop Sale for the following pesticides that are not registered by U.S. EPA and otherwise classified as misbranded pesticides:

  • Zonrox Color Safe Bleach
  • Lins Power Bleach
  • Mr. Muscle Kitchen Cleaner
  • Domix Thick
  • V-Cider Disinfectant Spray
  • Other misbranded pesticides.

Should misbranded items be found or for more information, please call or leave a message with the BECQ Pesticides Branch at 664-8500/8512.

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