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Pesticide Products within the Personal Care Industry: Regulatory Requirements

insect repellant being sprayed on arm

November 6, 2018

Personal Insect Repellents

Elevated concern over insect-borne illnesses has led to an increased demand for personal insect repellents. These products are available in many forms, such as aerosols, liquid pump sprays, personal pen-sized repellents, wipes, lotions and creams.

Personal insect repellents provide for adult, child and pet’s well-being alike; with some even incorporating sun screens as added protection.

When Does a Cosmetic Product Become Subject to FIFRA?

The obvious consumer market exists, so the question remains: When does a cosmetic product become subject to the Federal Insecticide and Fungicide Act (FIFRA) as governed under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)?

The pesticide/biocide industry can be difficult to navigate.

The FIFRA statute gives the EPA authority to regulate the registration, production, distribution, sale and use of pesticides. FIFRA defines a pesticide, in part, as “any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest”, while a “Pest is defined to broadly include any insect, rodent, nematode, fungus, weed or any other form of terrestrial or aquatic plant or animal life or virus, bacteria or other microorganism.”

Any substance or product being sold or distributed that makes any such claim for pesticidal purposes, implies a pesticide use, consists of one or more pesticidal active ingredients, or possesses knowledge that the substance or product will be used as a pesticide, are all subject to FIFRA and must be registered unless otherwise exempted.

How can Personal Care Companies Enter the Pesticides Industry?

Personal care companies can enter the pesticide space by either obtaining a federal registration for their own product or by becoming a Sub-Registrant for a product that is already federally registered by another company.

Pesticide products fall into three basic categories: Conventional PesticidesAntimicrobial Pesticides, and Biopesticides, with each category having its own registration requirements.

All pesticide applications are organized into two parts consisting of the Administrative Information (which includes the registration fee, identity of the applicant and product along with its draft labeling) and Product Data (consisting of product chemistry and performance, along with respective toxicological data as required within the three product categories).

All producers of a pesticide product must register their facility with the EPA prior to production, and file annual production reports along with annual maintenance fees with the Agency.

Other Requirements

In addition to Federal Law (FIFRA), the registration and use of pesticides are also subject to state laws and regulations ,as pesticides must also be registered in each state or territory for which the product is to be sold.

All pesticide products are governed under FIFRA and are exempt from TSCA. The Global Harmonized System (GHS) is not incorporated into the FIFRA Labeling requirements by the EPA and are labeled in accordance with 40 CFR Part 156 for all components of the product.

It is important to note that pesticide products may still be subject to OSHA requirements to develop a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) based on GHS.

Learn more about personal care regulatory topics in the UL Prospector Knowledge Center. To receive additional articles bi-monthly, sign up for free access to the Prospector material search engine and newsletter.

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UL’s global Regulatory Assurance Team contains more than 50 regulatory analysts worldwide – including a number of Pesticides and Personal Care experts – serving customers in six continents, with multi-lingual support in more than 30 languages. Our team can help you navigate the complex, ever changing regulatory landscape to understand and execute your compliance obligations.

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