A proposed class action alleges certain Wipe Out!-brand wipes and a decontaminant spray were unlawfully sold for use as antimicrobial agents without proper approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The 23-page case claims that defendant Tzumi Innovations LLC marketed its Wipe Out! Wipes, Multi-Surface Wipes and Multi-Surface Decontaminant Spray as able to “kill germs fast,” “clean and sanitize,” “kill 99.9% of germs,” and be used “anytime, anywhere,” even though the products were not registered with the EPA for these purposes.
Further, Tzumi Innovations, according to the complaint, “predatorially marketed” the Wipe Out! products at issue to low-income consumers amid the pandemic.
“In short, Defendant sold illegal pesticides to Plaintiff and Class Members that were not safe and effective for use as an antimicrobial agent on surfaces in homes,” the complaint summarizes.
The lawsuit relays that beginning in at least August 2020, Tzumi sold Wipe Out! Wipes that were marketed as a surface disinfectant rather than a personal care product to be used on a person’s hands—which the case notes is a “non-pesticidal use under [the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act].” According to the case, the packaging and labeling of the Wipe Out! wipes were designed to mimic EPA-approved disinfectant wipes instead of hand wipes (emphasis added):
“After selecting a winning design [for the label], Tzumi modified it to remove a prominent image of a hand and a reference to the product as a ‘hand sanitizer,’ positioning the product instead to look like disinfectant wipes intended for use on surfaces. Further, Tzumi selected packaging for Wipe Out! Wipes that resembled the packaging used by registered surface disinfectant wipes such as Lysol: upright plastic canisters with similar text placement and a similar color scheme, rather than the horizontal wrapped bags that have been used for personal care wipes for decades.”
Moreover, the Wipe Out! wipes were sold in the cleaning supplies section of stores instead of with the personal care and hand sanitizer products in the health and beauty aisle, the suit alleges.
The case claims, however, that the Wipe Out! wipes were never properly registered with the EPA as a surface disinfectant and cannot be legally sold as such.
Per the suit, Tzumi changed the Wipe Out! wipes label in January 2021 after “being contacted by the EPA regarding its violations,” and added wording describing the product as “hand wipes.”
The lawsuit further alleges that the company markets its Wipe Out! Multi-Surface Decontaminant Spray as a minimum-risk pesticide even though it does meet federal requirements for exemption as a minimum-risk pesticide. Because the spray fails to qualify as a minimum-risk pesticide, certain claims on its label, including “Non-corrosive, Non-caustic” and “Non-Skin Irritant,” amount to “unqualified and unreviewed safety claims,” the suit contests.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone in the U.S. who, during the fullest period allowed by law, purchased the Wipe Out! products mentioned on this page for personal use and not for resale.
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Camp Lejeune residents may soon have the opportunity to claim compensation for harm suffered from contaminated water.