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Policy

EPA Promotes Logo For Insect Repellents

by Britt E. Erickson
July 28, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 30

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Credit: EPA
09230-govcon-repelmark.jpg
Credit: EPA

EPA is encouraging manufacturers to use a new graphic on the label of insect repellents that shows consumers how long a product fends off mosquitoes and ticks when applied as directed. “We are working to create a system that does for bug repellents what SPF labeling did for sunscreens,” says James J. Jones, assistant administrator for chemical safety and pollution prevention. Manufacturers are not required to use the symbol on repellents, but EPA officials believe consumer demand will drive companies to do so. “We think that consumers want this information. If we are right, that will send a market signal to an insect repellent manufacturer that they should have the symbol,” Jones says. Companies already must demonstrate to EPA how long their repellents work, so they have the data needed for the graphic. EPA and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention are urging consumers to use insect repellents to prevent tick- and mosquito-carried diseases, which are on the rise. Consumers could begin seeing the new graphic on products early next year, EPA says.

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