An Irvine-based company has agreed to pay a $136,800 penalty for selling and distributing unregistered and mis-branded pesticides to veterinary clinics and laboratories nationwide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Tuesday.
Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP), whose worldwide headquarters are at 33 Technology Drive, Irvine, is a Division of Ethicon, Inc., which is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Co. In 2012, the EPA discovered ASP failed to submit required production reports for a registered pesticide distributed under the brand name "STERRAD Hydrogen Peroxide Cassettes."
"Companies must understand that it is illegal to sell pesticides that have not been registered with the EPA," says Jared Blumenfeld, the EPA's regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest, in a statement announcing the penalty. "Safe handling of pesticide products depends on critical information displayed on their approved labels."
Small sealed containers or cassettes, which are about the size of a smartphone, contain the active ingredient hydrogen peroxide and are inserted into a machine used to sterilize equipment. The ASP cassettes were distributed to laboratories or veterinary clinics without an EPA-approved label and failed to list physical and chemical hazards as required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, according to the EPA.
The company also failed to submit a required production report for 2011 and filed "incomplete and erroneous production reports for 2008-2010," adds the EPA, which notes ASP later provided the agency with amended reports.
Advanced Sterilization Products is no longer selling the cassettes or boosters for pesticidal use.
The "About Us" page on the company website states: "ASP has been a leader in infection prevention – helping facilities prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and in creating the safest possible environments for patients and their families, healthcare workers, providers and communities." You can "Watch ASP's Story" here.