EPA clarifies position on ion-generating equipment

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Courtesy of Acta Group

Certain washing machine manufacturers probably didn't think they needed to register their products as pesticides when designing and making them. However, this is exactly what they'll be required to do under 72 Fed. Reg. 54039, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) clarified on September 21.

Washing machines using silver electrodes to produce silver ions to kill germs are considered 'pesticides,' not 'devices,' and such equipment will be regulated as pesticides, states EPA. While this may not sound like big news, it could mean that household appliances such as washing machines as well as even some industrial equipment may need to be registered as pesticides if certain product claims are made. Here's why.

Is it a pesticide or a device?
Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA may regulate a product as a pesticide when claims are made by the product manufacturer about the product's ability to kill pests, including germs. Recently, many manufacturers of all kinds of consumer products have been touting the ability of their products to kill germs to prevent disease and illness, largely because we live in a very germ-conscious society.

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