Illegal Mothballs Put Children at Risk

illegal moth balls

EPA is warning parents about moth balls.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a Brooklyn-based company was discovered trying to import an illegal shipment of  Fuji Lavender Moth Tablets from China.  The product contains the highly toxic chemical para-dichlorobenzene and has not been registered with the EPA.

Why should you care about an illegal mothball bust, you ask?  Because in addition to not being cleared for import into the U.S., these moth tablets are packaged in brightly colored bags that could easily be mistaken for candy by young children.

Inhalation of para-dichlorobenzene can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory distress and other illnesses.  If swallowed, it can damage the nervous system and, in extreme cases, can cause coma or death.

About 4800 pink and purple bags of Fuji Lavender Moth Tablets were seized in New Jersey, but the EPA isn’t certain they haven’t already entered the market in the U.S.  In a statement, EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck says she wants to make parents and caregivers aware that these tablets might be out there.

Importing pesticide products that are not registered with EPA is a serious violation. The registration process ensures that we know what pesticides are in the products, and that they have labels with directions for proper use.  Mothballs sold in colorful packaging that resemble candy pose a particular risk to children.

To learn more about illegal pesticides and what to do if you purchased some, visit the EPA website.   And here you will more images of the candy-colored moth ball bags.

Image: EPA

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