Micro-Pak Enhanced PE Sheets are intended to control, inhibit, and mitigate odor causing bacteria, mold, and mildew on products enclosed in packaging intended for shipment, according to an amended master label approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Items that may be packaged and treated with the sheets include footwear, clothing, luggage, handbags, purses, wallets, gloves, hats, belts, leather goods, sporting goods, furniture, packing boxes, carpets, photo albums, musical instruments, toys, bracelets, jewelry, dolls, lamps, vases, baskets, footwear components, bedding, tablecloths, housewares, and floral products.
Micro-Pak stickers and sheets are activated by moisture, so they don’t start working until they’re needed, the Micro-Pak website states. When the relative humidity reaches a preset level, the sheets release a pesticide within the box or polybag to actively eliminate mold spores. The pesticide spreads throughout the package to do its work.
I couldn’t find any information on whether these sheets are dangerous for consumers to handle. I’ll contact the EPA and see what it says.
Since my father died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is linked to pesticide exposure, and I had pesticide exposures as a child, how pesticides are used concerns me.
If you see these sheets in your packages, I’d put on disposable gloves and put of them in the trash right away.
I would certainly like to see the sheets labeled as containing pesticides. It's difficult to understand why they aren't labeled with that information.
The sheets are different from silica gel, a drying agent that comes in small, clear beads or rock crystals placed in little packets made of paper or cloth. The packets are put in products, such as food, clothing, medication, supplements, and electronics, to prevent moisture damage. The small particles can absorb large amounts of water. Silica gel is non-toxic, but it’s a choking hazard for young children when put in small packets.
Update: I received an email from EPA on background, meaning the person who sent the message didn’t want their name to be used.
My question: I was surprised that these sheets contain pesticides. Why aren’t they labeled as pesticides so consumers know to throw them away immediately? It’s not only troublesome that the pesticides aren’t labeled, but, also, that they’re allowed to be put in consumer packages.
EPA answer: Registered in 2013, the Micro-Pak Enhanced PE Sheets product contains the sodium chlorite that preserves materials and has specific registration requirements. Micro-Pak Enhanced PE Sheets are intended to control, inhibit and mitigate odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew on products enclosed in packaging meant for shipment. According to the master label, this product is sold in bulk at 5000, 1000, 100 and 50 sheet increments. Though not on individual sheets, the product container has the required labeling.
Before registering a product, EPA determines if there are human and ecological risks from exposure to antimicrobial pesticides. Based on the risk assessment for this active ingredient, EPA has determined that this antimicrobial pesticide product is not anticipated to pose risks to human health or the environment.
My question: Why aren’t silica gel packets sufficient?
EPA answer: EPA does not promote or market a specific product, including different types of pesticides. Whether or not to use silica gel packets is at the discretion of a packing facility or company.