The Guam Environmental Protection Agency is warning island residents to stay away from disinfectant products that have not received the stamps of approval from the USEPA as they are investigating two unregulated products on local store shelves.
The supply of disinfectant products on island has become scarce as demand has increased in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Guam EPA spokesman Nic Lee warns that turning to products that are not regulated by USEPA can cause more harm than good.
In fact, Guam EPA is investigating reports of non-regulated disinfectant products sold at local stores. Lee says a concerned citizen alerted the agency.
“The caller identified the product to the JIC, saying she wanted GEPA to issue an alert about it so the Pesticides Enforcement Program was informed about the unregistered product and we were able to identify the distributor. We were able to put a stop sales order on that product,” Lee said.
The product is called Virus Shutout and it has so far been pulled off the shelves of least five local stores. Lee says there may be other businesses impacted by the cease sale order so residents should be mindful of the disinfectant products they choose as there are dangers associated with the use of unregulated products.
“There was no review on the effectiveness of the product so you may be applying a disinfectant product to disinfect a surface in your home or business that may not actually be doing what the product label claims,” Lee warned.
He added that you don’t know for certain what chemicals are used in the product and they could cause toxic side effects when used. The product may also be harmful to humans and animals.
So how do you tell if a product is EPA approved?
“We ask that you look for a few things. One, you look for an EPA establishment number. You look for a registration number. The label must also be in English. There can be other foreign languages on it, but English must also be provided on the label,” Lee said.
He added that the label should also provide clear instructions on how the product should be used, and how it’s going to be properly stored and disposed of. The label should also show the active ingredients in the product which are measured in clear percentages.
Lee says that to date, there have been no reports of medical issues arising from the use of non-regulated disinfectant products.
If you do see a non-regulated disinfectant product that is being sold in local stores, report it to Guam EPA.