DOJ says eBay sold thousands of illegal, poisonous and polluting products

The Department of Justice raked eBay over the proverbial coals today, accusing the online retailer of “unlawfully selling and distributing hundreds of thousands” of products that threaten the environment and public health.

In a statement on Wednesday, the DOJ said it’s suing eBay for distributing restricted and mislabeled pesticides, defeat devices that mess with vehicles’ emissions controls and paint thinners that contain methylene chloride.

The agency’s lawsuit alleges that eBay did so in violation of the Clean Air Act and other laws that regulate toxic substances. It was filed on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The DOJ’s statement on the suit is chock full of specific figures, alleging that eBay sold, “offered for sale” or distributed more than 343,000 defeat devices and 23,000 restricted, mislabeled or restricted pesticides.

In response, eBay said it “intends to vigorously defend itself” against the lawsuit. The retailer did not immediately respond to an email requesting more information on how it moderates the types of listings cited by the DOJ.