Warning: This Illegal Pesticide Can Be Harmful

February 2017

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Unregistered Products

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is urging the public to avoid and report an illegal and potentially harmful pesticide product recently sold at homes, via the Internet, and elsewhere.

The unregistered product goes by the name "El Mejor Remedio" ("The Best Remedy") or "El Mejor Polvo" ("The Best Dust") and claims to kill cockroaches. However, the product can make you sick.

The product contains a pesticide ingredient called acephate that, when used incorrectly, can cause nausea, dizziness, confusion, breathing difficulties, and, at high levels, convulsions and coma. Acephate is a pesticide that is not allowed to be used indoors.

In California, it's illegal to repackage, sell or distribute a pesticide without a license and without first registering the product with DPR. Registered products are tested for safety and come with approved labels and safety restrictions on use. A legal pesticide product will have an EPA Registration Number (EPA Reg. No.) on the package.

The unregistered cockroach product was being sold on the Internet and door-to-door, and was advertised in at least one Spanish-language magazine, according to Santa Clara County authorities. The product also turned up in flea markets.

In January, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office charged a man in connection with sales of the product. Anyone with information that may help investigators locate possible victims who purchased the powder is urged to call the Santa Clara District Attorney's Office Environmental Protection Unit at 408-792-2794.

If you are unsure whether a pesticide product is registered, contact your county agricultural commissioner as soon as possible. You can get your local CAC's number and be connected by calling the toll-free PestLine: 1-87-PestLine (877-378-5463).

Remember if you suspect that you have pesticide poisoning or you have a medical emergency dial 9-1-1.

For content questions, contact:
Craig Cassidy
Public Information Officer I
DPR Office of Communications
1001 I Street, P.O. Box 4015
Sacramento, CA 95812-4015
Phone: (916) 445-5815
E-mail: Craig.Cassidy@cdpr.ca.gov