Caution notice: warning over banned mothballs

Shoppers who have bought Bright Shine naphthalene mothballs are being advised to immediately dispose of or return the product.

Bright Shine mothballs packaging

Mothball products containing naphthalene, camphor, and dichlorobenzene were banned in New Zealand in June 2014, because of the risk of children being poisoned by eating them. These products are unapproved pesticides under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO Act), and must not be imported, manufactured, or sold in New Zealand.

We have determined that 600 bags of Bright Shine mothballs were supplied to 17 specialty Indian supermarkets across the Auckland region.

“When the importer was made aware that this product is not permitted in New Zealand, they worked with the retailers to remove it from store shelves,” says the EPA’s General Manager of Compliance, Monitoring, and Enforcement, Gayle Holmes.

This week, the importer was issued with a formal warning under the HSNO Act.

“This is a timely reminder that importers and manufacturers are required to understand the hazardous properties of their products, and have a duty to comply with New Zealand’s regulatory requirements,” says Gayle Holmes.

It is possible the mothballs were on sale since October 2019. People who have bought this product should dispose of it securely in the rubbish, or return it to the store they purchased it from.

Read our top five rules for importers and manufacturers

Check out our Safer Homes information about household chemicals and how to use and store them safely

If you have concerns that someone has eaten mothballs, phone the National Poisons Centre on 0800 764 766.