The Environmental Protection Agency has warned nearly 3,000 consumers nationwide to stop using "Fast Ant Bait," a banned Chinese-made pesticide with dangerous side effects.
The agency sent a letter warning consumers who bought Fast Ant Bait, purchased online via FastPestControl.com, of its potential health risks. The product contains mirex, a pesticide banned in 1978 than can cause liver, skin, reproductive and nerve damage."Illegal pesticides are often much more toxic than approved pesticides," Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said in a statement. "When EPA takes a pesticide off the market, it means that pesticide was not safe. Consumers should use only EPA-registered pesticides and always follow the label directions to ensure their safety."
The EPA says it first became aware of Fast Ant Bait after the Washington State Department of Health reported a woman becoming ill after using it in her home. The EPA then identified and warned three online companies, 2Checkout.com Inc., CCNow, Inc. and eBay Inc. to stop processing orders for the illegal pesticide, produced in and shipped from China.
All three companies, the EPA said, cooperated and immediately ceased processing orders. As a result, consumers are no longer able to purchase Fast Ant Bait products from FastPestControl.com, the site that originally offered the banned product for sale.
The companies also provided the EPA with sales information to help the agency track down and contact customers directly about the dangers posed by mirex. The EPA letter, sent to about 2,800 consumers, provides detailed instructions on how to safely clean up and dispose of the dangerous pesticide and what to do if customers believe they were exposed or harmed.
The EPA letter also noted that FastPestControl.com sells another banned and illegal product called Antimos Mosquito Repellent, which it also warned consumers to avoid and dispose of immediately. The site still hypes the benefit of Fast Ant Bait here, though it appears to have de-linked its e-commerce pages. FastPestControl.com is blind-registered with a privacy proxy service, meaning its operators can't be traced without a court order and could be literally anywhere in the world.
For more information on mirex or other pesticides, consumers can call the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Information Center at 1-888-422-8737 or the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at 1-800-858-7378. Click here for information on the safe use of pesticides.
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