US-based cleaning service Kaboom Cleaners has accused the US of infringing on the rights of other cleaning companies to use disinfectant.
The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in California, argues that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its “federal regulatory agency” do not have jurisdiction over the use of disinfectants by other cleaning products.
The company says it has used disinfectants for more than 10,000 different projects since its founding in 2014.
“In 2017, our cleaning company was notified that we had received a subpoena from the FDA to provide information on disinfectants used by cleaning products,” Kaboom founder and CEO Dan Baughman said in a statement.
“While we are unable to comment on the matter at this time, we feel it is important to point out that the Cleaning Products Manufacturers Association (CPMA), the trade association representing the cleaners industry, has the sole responsibility for protecting the rights and health of the American people.”
Cleaning products have long been used to clean carpets and other surfaces, with some companies even selling products that purify surfaces with the help of a chemical called chlorhexidine.
In its lawsuit, the Cleaners’ Association argues that chlorhexididine is not a safe disinfectant and that the EPA’s rules are “inconsistent with the requirements of the Clean Products Manufactures Act”.
The lawsuit says that the FDA “has made no indication that chlorexidine is unsafe or ineffective” and the Clean Supplies Act does not require disinfectants to have “an inert chemical that can be easily detected”.
The Clean Supples Act states that disinfectants must be “detergent free” and that they must have “no measurable toxicity”.
The company has previously said that chloracridine is a disinfectant that is not as “effective” as chlorhexine.
Baughmans lawsuit says the Clean Supply Act “does not permit the disinfectant manufacturers to impose their own standards, or even a ‘standard’ to be followed”, and therefore does not apply to disinfectants.
He also says that chloracloride is not “safe”.
“It is not possible to determine the toxicity of chloracloride, which is a product of chlorhexide, at the dose of 1,000 micrograms per kilogram of body weight,” the suit states.
“A large, well-controlled study of chloraclort and chloraclenide has shown no measurable toxicity at any dose.
As such, chloraclofen and chlorhexol are not effective disinfectants.”
In February 2018, the US House of Representatives passed the Clean Water Act, a $7bn bill that included a ban on chlorhexidem and chlorachloramine, the most common disinfectants on carpets, according to the American Chemical Society (ACS).
The bill also required all cleaning products to use water-based disinfectants in addition to chlorine.
The bill is currently in committee, and is set to be heard by the full House on May 20.
The Clean Supply Acts is also being used to stop the use and importation of disinfectant disinfectants from Europe, including the EU’s directive from the EU Commission that the use in Europe of disinfection products should be banned.
“The US Clean Supply acts have no teeth,” Baughs lawsuit states.
The suit asks the US Supreme Court to uphold the Clean Bill of Rights and “pursue a remedy against the United States Government in the federal courts of the United State for the deprivation of constitutional rights of the Plaintiffs.”
The lawsuit also alleges that the “US Clean Supply act is inconsistent with international treaty obligations”.
“The United States and other countries have enacted laws that prohibit the use or importation by others of disinfected and disinfectant-treated products in certain countries,” the lawsuit states, “and the Clean Food Act is the only law of the federal government that does not prevent the use by the United Kingdom and other European nations of disinfecting and disinfecting-treated food products”.
The US Clean Supple Act is currently being challenged in US federal court.
It has not been made public.
“Carpets are not a clean product.
They are a dirty product,” Baugher said.
“I think it’s a great step in the right direction, but it’s just a step, not the end of the road.”
In a statement, a spokesperson for the FDA told Al Jazeera: “The FDA does not comment on pending litigation.”
The agency said that it had not received any complaints about the disinfection process.