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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2004

Contact: Karl Olson at 475-1617/8 or kolson@guamepa.govguam.net
Michael Mann at 475-1623 or mmann@guamepa.govguam.net

Guam EPA finds illegal insecticide chalk for sale on Guam, cautions public of dangers, especially to children

Miraculous Insecticide Chalk box
Illegal insecticide chalk is especially dangerous because it looks like regular blackboard chalk.
False Claims
The product contains false statements indicating that it's "safe to use."

Click on the above images for high-quality (300dpi) versions for print or broadcast use.

The Guam Environmental Protection Agency announced today that inspectors have discovered illegal insecticide chalk that is harmful to public health for sale on Guam. The Agency's Pesticide Enforcement Program issued "stop sale" and "removal from sale" orders to seven small stores and one local wholesaler during a marketplace inspection.

"This illegal product can be especially dangerous for children, who might mistake it for blackboard chalk and be tempted to play with it," said Guam EPA Administrator Fred M. Castro. "Guam EPA wants to send a strong message to people who import and sell this product that it's both illegal and very dangerous," he continued. All products found at the stores in question have been pulled from the shelves. The wholesaler may face fines for illegally importing the unregistered pesticide in violation of federal and Guam laws.

The chalk, sold under the trade names "Miraculous Insecticide Chalk" and "China Chalk," is imported illegally from China and often bears a label in both English and Chinese. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has previously issued several warnings about insecticide chalk products.

Guam EPA is particularly concerned about insecticide chalk because it looks just like regular chalk, and children may take it in their hands, write with it, and put it in their mouths. The insecticide chalk product labels sometimes state that the chalk is "harmless to human beings and animals" and "safe to use." These claims are untrue and dangerous.

Overexposure to some chemicals found in samples of insecticide chalk can provoke serious health effects, including vomiting, stomach pains, convulsions, tremors, and loss of consciousness. Serious allergic reactions are also possible. Several children have been hospitalized in the United States after eating insecticide chalk.

Because insecticide chalk is a hazardous material, it should not be thrown away with regular trash. Residents should contact Karl Olson of Guam EPA at 475-1617/8 to discuss safe disposal options.

For more information, residents can contact the Guam EPA Pesticide Enforcement Program at 475-1617/8 or visit the Pesticide Enforcement Program page.



-- END OF RELEASE --







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URL: https://guamepa.govguam.net/programs/admin/news2004/022404.html
Last update: 24 February 2004

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