Release 05-10      

May 16, 2005


Jerry Martin
Gennet Paauwe
(916) 322-2990
Insecticide Producer Settles with Payment of $100,000

-- The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced today that it has accepted a settlement of $100,000 from United Industries Corporation (UIC). UIC violated clean air regulations by selling products that exceeded volatile organic compound (VOC) limits.

"Consumers expect that they must handle insecticides with care," said ARB Executive Officer, Catherine Witherspoon. "But they also expect them to comply with regulations."

As part of ARB's routine inspection of consumer products offered to Californians, samples of UIC's Schultz Houseplant & Garden Bug Spray were purchased off the shelf. Through laboratory analysis it was determined that the products included VOC contents of 30 percent and 31 percent by weight. These amounts exceed the regulatory limit of 20 percent.

After thorough investigation by ARB, it was determined that UIC sold, supplied, offered for sale or manufactured in California 119,476 containers of the 12-ounce aerosol bug insecticide. The emissions of the non-compliant product contributed 5.7 tons of excess VOCs into California's atmosphere. VOCs are carbon-containing compounds that evaporate into the air (with a few exceptions). They contribute to the formation of smog and may themselves be toxic. VOCs often have an odor and some examples include gasoline, alcohol, and the solvents used in paints.

UIC purchased the Schultz company after the insecticide was in violation but recognized it responsibility for assuring all products they sell comply with California regulations. UIC agreed to pay $100,000 directly into the California Air Pollution Control Fund (APCF), which is used to mitigate various sources of pollution through education and the advancement and use of cleaner technology. In addition, UIC agreed to not sell, supply, offer for sale, or manufacture for sale in California any consumer product in violation of any provision of the ARB Consumer Products Regulation.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.