Washing Machine: Device or Pesticide? EPA Will Judge, Case by Case

EPA issued a notice last week clarifying its position on the distinction between "devices" and "pesticides" with regard to ion-generating equipment. The notice explains why such equipment--including silver-ion-generating washing machines--will now be regulated as a pesticide. EPA has determined that these machines will be regulated as pesticides if the machines contain silver or other substances, and if they generate ions of those substances for express pesticidal purposes. The agency will work with manufacturers to identify the information needed to apply to register the machine as a pesticide, and give those products currently out of compliance time to obtain registration, according to the notice.

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, a product that uses only physical or mechanical means to trap, destroy, repel, or mitigate a pest (including microbial pests) is a device and is not required to be registered (though its production and labeling are regulated). However, if the product incorporates a substance or mixture of substances intended to prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate pests, then it is considered to be a pesticide and is required to be registered. Determinations as to whether a product is a device or pesticide are made on a case-by-case basis, EPA said. The silver-ion-generating washing machine is marketed with claims that it will kill bacteria on clothing. Silver is already regulated as a pesticide active ingredient in other registered products.

EPA said it will work with producers of ion generators to identify what data and other information are required to support an application for registration and to obtain registrations to bring such equipment into compliance for equipment being distributed or sold in the United States. A summary of the implementation schedule is included in the September 21 Federal Register notice. For further information, contact Melba S. Morrow, 703-308-2716, morrow.melba@epa.gov.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Easy to Use Safety Incident App

    Record incidents on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Collect data for multiple types of incidents including including near misses, vehicle and environmental incidents, and employee and non-employee injuries; at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • Complete Online Safety Training Courses

    Deliver state-of-the art, online safety training courses to your organization with IndustrySafe Training Management Software. Generate reports to track training compliance and automatically notify learners of upcoming or overdue classes.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus