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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Rodenticide' Category


27
Feb

Poisoning Feral Hogs Raises Safety and Environmental Concerns

(Beyond Pesticides, February 27, 2017)  Texas has been dealing with a feral hog issue for many years, however recently Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller approved the use of a toxic rodenticide in an effort to control feral hog populations, a decision hunters and trappers oppose because the pesticide will poison prey and wreak havoc on ecosystems where the hogs live. The estimated population of the feral hog population is about 1.5 million in the state of Texas, where they can cause extensive damage to property, crops, and native wildlife. Wild hogs have been considered to be one of the most destructive invasive species in the U.S. The feral hog population, close to six million, span 39 states and four Canadian provinces. Commissioner Miller, in announcing the widespread use of toxic pesticide referred to the problem as the “feral hog apocalypse.” Damage caused by wild hogs has been estimated to reach well into the millions. Smithsonian Magazine has reported the annual damage caused by feral hog populations to be around $400 million. The Texas Parks and Wildlife website states that hogs are opportunistic omnivores.  Feral hogs enjoy eating domestic agricultural crops, such as corn, soybeans, peanuts, potatoes, watermelons and cantaloupe. They can cause […]

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04
Jan

Death of Four Texas Children Linked to Inadequately Regulated Pesticide, Follows Other Deaths

(Beyond Pesticides, January 4, 2017) The New Year saw its first pesticide-related tragedy yesterday when four children, ranging in age from 7-17, died from a toxic pesticide treatment on their house in Amarillo, Texas. The pesticide at issue, aluminum phosphide, was illegally applied under a mobile home where at least ten people were living. The chemical, classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a restricted use pesticide (RUP), is restricted for use by certified applicators (and those under their supervision) and it is a violation to use it within 100 feet of residential structures. CNN reports that a family member used water to try and wash away the pesticide after it was applied, and the combination of water and aluminum phosphide increased the release of toxic phosphine gas. The incident demonstrates the deficiency of managing risks of highly toxic chemicals by labeling them “restricted use.” It has been Beyond Pesticides’ position that chemicals with aluminum phosphide’s level of toxicity should not be available on the market, even with restrictions. In making regulatory determinations on pesticide allowances, advocates have urged EPA to calculate the reality of misuse and accidents, instead of assuming 100% compliance with product label instructions. With this approach, the agency would […]

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15
Dec

EPA Rule Tightens Use of Highest Toxicity Pesticides as Advocates Question Their Use

(Beyond Pesticides, December 15, 2016) On Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Certification of Pesticide Applicators final rule on restricted use pesticides (RUP) for publication in the Federal Register. According to EPA, the rule creates a national minimum age requirement of 18 for certified applicators, requires all applicators to renew their certifications every five years, and establishes “first time annual safety training for persons working under the direct supervision of a certified applicator.” States have up to three years to create their programs to implement the new rules for RUPs, and can build upon existing programs if they are equivalent or exceed the updated standards. While EPA’s rule represents a tightening of the restricted use provision, critics have long maintained that all persons handling restricted use pesticides —including those who work for companies that work in and around  homes and communities— should be certified because the supervision requirement does not ensure adequate oversight and protection. Those supervising non-certified applicators are not required to be on site, but, can be in telephone contact. Restricted use pesticides are not available for purchase by the general public, and may only be applied by a certified pesticide applicator or a non-certified […]

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19
Oct

Reckitt Benckiser, Manufacturer of d-Con, Issues Apology for Disinfectant Deaths in South Korea

(Beyond Pesticides, October 19, 2016) Reckitt Benckiser, the company that fought tooth and nail to keep its highly toxic d-CON ® anticoagulant rodenticides on the market in the U.S., has recently issued an apology for another product of theirs that  is responsible for the deaths of pregnant women and children in Korea: humidifier disinfectants. According to The Wall Street Journal, 189 deaths and 506 injuries from humidifier disinfectants, primarily Reckitt Benckiser’s humidifier disinfectant, Oxy Sac Sac (Oxy). The main ingredient in the sanitizers found to be toxic is polyhexamethylene guanidine phosphate, or PHMG. In a statement on Wednesday, September 21, Reckitt Benckiser CEO Rakesh Kapoor offered his “deepest sympathy” for “the pain and the irreparable damage suffered by many families.” The apology was made during a visit with Oxy victims and  families, as well as representatives of the Korean National Assembly Special Committee at the Company’s headquarters in Slough, UK. Hazards associated with the humidifier disinfectants were first discovered in 2011 when seven pregnant women were hospitalized with acute respiratory disease, resulting in four deaths from  lung failure. Korean Center for Disease Control (KCDC) led an investigation that found that the chemicals used to clean humidifiers were to blame, and […]

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26
Aug

Judge Orders Release of Terminix Documents in Methyl Bromide Poisoning of Family

(Beyond Pesticides, August 26, 2016) Virgin Islands Superior Court Judge, Harold Willocks denied a request made by Terminix to stop a subpoena for Terminix documents in the methyl bromide poisoning case  issued  by Attorney General Claude Earl Walker, according to The Virgin Islands Consortium. The paper reported that the subpoena ordered the pest control company to provide documents and information relating to an ongoing investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ). This follows two settlement agreements made by Terminix; one to pay $10 million to DOJ and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, and another to pay $87 million to the Esmond family, poisoned by the misuse of a neurotoxic pesticide fumigant, methyl bromide, when they vacationed in the Virgin Islands in the spring of 2015. According to the Virgin Islands Consortium, DOJ launched  another investigation into Terminix after the Esmonds were poisoned to determine if there had been a violation of the Criminally Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (CICO). Attorney General Walker issued the original subpoena on April 28, requesting that Terminix surrender all information related to the purchase, use and import of methyl bromide obtained within the past three years. […]

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21
Oct

Threatened Status Proposed for West Coast Fisher after Poisonings with Rodenticides

(Beyond Pesticides, October 21, 2014) Due in large part to the use of rodenticides in the cultivation of illegal marijuana grow operations, earlier this month the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced a proposal to list fishers, medium sized carnivores of the weasel family, as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Fishers are the second species in the West that have been recognized by regulators as adversely affected  by illegal marijuana grow operations. Coho salmon have also been affected as a result of pesticide and fertilizer use, water withdrawals, and clear-cut logging that have silted, dried up, and polluted streams where the salmon run. Fishers, which are found throughout North America and have been part of the forests in Pacific states for thousands of years, have all but virtually disappeared in much of Washington, Oregon and California, according to FWS. Illegal marijuana grow operations have been a troubling source of wildlife deaths as growers often use “industrial-sized quantities of poison in forests to fend off rodents,” says Humboldt County District Supervisor Rex Bohn. A study published in PLOS One in 2012 found that 79% of fishers surrounding an illegal marijuana grow operation had been exposed to anticoagulant rodenticides. Fishers […]

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02
Jun

Some Hazardous d-CON Production, But Not Sale, to Stop at Year’s End; Group Wants Immediate Stop Sale and Recall

(Beyond Pesticides, June 2, 2014) With Friday’s announcement that the production of deadly rodent baits will stop by year’s end, a national public health and environmental group is renewing its request of the nation’s retailers to immediately stop the sale of d-CON ® anticoagulant rodent bait products, citing the poisoning of children, pets, and wildlife. This call comes as the manufacturer of d-CON ®, Reckitt Benckiser LLC, announced an agreement today with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in which it will cease production, but not sale, of the product by the end of 2014. “It is outrageous that a highly toxic product associated with the poisoning of children, pets, and wildlife remains on the market one more day, let alone for the years it will take to exhaust supplies,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. “One child harmed from the continued sale of this product is one child too many,” said Mr. Feldman. Between 1993 and 2008, the American Association of Poison Control Centers logged 12,000 to 15,000 poison exposure reports of children under the age of six from mouse and rat baits. Early in 2013, EPA issued a notice to cancel the registration of 12 rodenticide […]

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18
Apr

Mountain Lion Poisoned as Rodenticides Move Up the Food Chain

(Beyond Pesticides, April 18, 2014) Test results have confirmed that the charismatic mountain lion named P-22 ””that frequently roams the hills of the San Gabriel Mountains surrounding Los Angeles, California”” has been exposed to highly toxic rat poisons. When remote cameras in Griffith Park caught images of the puma, state park officials saw a thin mangy cat, far different from the majestic shots taken months ago by National Geographic against the Hollywood sign as a backdrop. Upon performing blood testing analysis, they found that P-22 had been exposed to anticoagulant pesticides, stoking the debate around rodenticide use, as further research suggests that these pesticide poisonings are a common occurrence. Researchers already know of the link between pesticides and mange””parasitic mites which burrow into the skin or hair follicles causing bald spots, scabbing and sore, which left untreated has contributed to the death of wild and domestic animals. Previous research by the National Park Service (NPS) has shown that bobcats that have ingested rodenticide are much more likely to suffer from mange. While the cougar has been treated with topical ointments for mange, and a dose of vitamin  D with vitamin  K as an antidote to the rat poisons, it is […]

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02
Apr

d-CON Manufacturer Sues California to Stop Rat Poison Restrictions

(Beyond Pesticides, April 2, 2014) Just last week it was announced that California ruled to remove from store shelves several rodenticide products identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as unsafe for children and wildlife.   The maker of these products, Reckitt Benckiser, aggressive in  challenging regulators who want to restrict the company’s loose bait products,  is  suing  California to stop it from acting. The state’s new restriction on retail sales of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides, due to take effect July 1, 2014, seeks to protect wildlife and pets from accidental poisoning from rat poisons. Reckitt Benckiser is also embroiled in challenging EPA’s decision to remove these products from the national marketplace for failure to meet federal standards. The California’ Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) ruled last week that second generation anticoagulant rodenticides, including the chemicals brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum, and difethialone, found in d-CON brand products, must be classified as California-restricted materials, and only allowed to be used by certified pesticide applicators. This follows EPA’s 2013 issuance of a Notice of Intent to Cancel the registrations of rodenticide products that do not meet the agency’s new mitigation measures to reduce poisonings to children and wildlife. However, manufacturer of d-CON, Reckitt […]

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25
Mar

California Bans Controversial d-CON Products as EPA Stalled by Manufacturer

(Beyond Pesticides, March 25, 2014) Highly toxic rodenticides linked to the poisoning of pets, wildlife and young children will no longer be allowed on store shelves in California starting July 1 of this year. According to rules adopted last week by California’ Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR), “second generation anticoagulant rodenticides,” including the chemicals brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum, and difethialone found in d-CON brand products, will be classified as California-restricted materials, and only allowed to be used by certified pesticide applicators. Attempts by the U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) to remove these products from store shelves nationwide stalled last year after the manufacturer of d-CON rodenticides, Reckitt Benckiser, sued the agency to delay implementation of the cancellation process. In July of 2011, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife requested CDPR restrict the use of anticoagulant rodenticides due to numerous incidents involving direct and indirect poisoning of wildlife. Anticoagulants impair blood clotting and eventually cause internal bleeding in target animals. However, rodents can feed on poisoned bait multiple times before death (some are even resistant to the chemicals now), and as a result their carcasses may contain residues that are many times the lethal dose. Poisoning can occur to nontarget species when […]

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18
Dec

Campaign Urges Walmart to Discontinue Rodent Poison Products EPA Wants Banned

(Beyond Pesticides, December 18, 2013) A national environmental group is supporting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) efforts to protect children by asking national retailers, including Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and Lowe’s, to make the holidays safer for children and stop selling dangerous d-CON rodent bait products. Determined to present unreasonable risks to children and the environment by EPA, the 12 slated-for-cancellation products contribute to the thousands of rodenticide poisonings of children each year. The manufacturer of d-CON products is using a legal tactic to allow the continued sale of the 12 d-CON products, despite an EPA action to ban them. “Walmart and other major retailers should immediately discontinue the sale of these toxic mouse and rat poisons. There are effective alternatives available that do not put children, pets, and wildlife at danger of poisoning and even death,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. Early in 2013, EPA issued its Notice of Intent to Cancel the registration of 12 rodenticide products manufactured by Reckitt Benckiser LLC after the company refused to adopt voluntary risk mitigation measures established in 2008. The mitigation measures require products to use bait stations and secured bait forms, instead of loose baits which children […]

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13
Mar

Pesticide Maker To Challenge EPA’s Decision to Protect Children, Wildlife

(Beyond Pesticides, March 13, 2013) On March 6, 2013, pesticide manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser Inc. requested a hearing in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Notice of Intent to Cancel 12 of the company’s d-CON mouse and rat poison products, delaying the ban that otherwise would have taken effect on March 7, 2013. This is the first time in more than 20 years that a company has declined to voluntarily implement EPA risk mitigation measures for pesticide products to ensure children are not exposed to what EPA identifies as an unacceptable risk. Reckitt Benckiser’s products would still be available to unknowing consumers until the case is resolved. In submitting its request for a hearing by an Administrative Law Judge, Reckitt Benckiser is preparing to waylay federal law by engaging in a legal battle with EPA that could drag on for many years. This comes after EPA announced its decision to go ahead and cancel rodenticide products not in compliance with EPA’s new mitigation measures to reduce exposures to children and wildlife. Unfortunately, until the case is resolved, Reckitt Benckiser will be allowed to continue selling 12 of its d-CON rat poisons, despite the products not being in compliance with […]

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01
Feb

EPA Moves to Cancel d-CON Rodent Killing Products

(Beyond Pesticides, February 1, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its decision to go ahead with the cancellation of 12 rodenticide products which posed “unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.” The decision came after manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser’s refusal to adopt EPA safety standards for its d-CON mouse and rat control products. The action follows EPA’s Notice of Intent to Cancel (NOIC), issued in 2011, to Reckitt Benckiser and two other companies, Liphatech and Spectrum Group Division of United Industries Corporation, which voluntarily removed eight of their products from the market and were therefore not listed for cancelation by EPA. EPA requires that rodenticide products sold to individual consumers are in tamper-resistant bait stations, rather than in pellet or powder form. Additionally, EPA recognizes the risks that rodenticide products containing brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone, and difenacoum pose to wildlife and will no longer allow them to be sold or distributed in the consumer market. However, use by professional applicators and in agriculture will still be permitted as long as they are in bait stations. EPA says this will reduce the amount of product in the environment, providing additional protection for wildlife from poisonings by these more toxic and persistent products. […]

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18
Dec

EPA to Cancel Dangerous Rodent Poisons: Let’s Show Our Support in the Face of Industry Opposition!

(Beyond Pesticides, December 18, 2012) Certain pesticide manufacturers are gearing up to try to block EPA’s attempts to cancel certain rodent poisons that are known to be hazardous to children and wildlife, including endangered species. After more than a decade of research and review, and an unacceptably high number of poisoning incidents, EPA has acknowledged that certain active ingredients are too dangerous to remain on the market, and is now requiring all remaining over-the-counter rodent control products to be in secured, tamper-resistant bait stations to reduce the incidents of accidental exposure to children. Granular and powdered products will be banned. But certain chemical companies are refusing to comply with EPA’s order and have indicated that they will challenge the agency’s decision. Every year, more than 10,000 children are exposed to rodent poison products, and the majority of calls to poison control centers concern children under the age of three. Despite the availability of alternatives, industry is leading a campaign against EPA’s decision, trying to scare communities into believing that they will be overrun with rodents and infested with disease if their products are not used. Meanwhile, less toxic rodent control products and those secured in bait stations are available, effective, […]

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17
Dec

Poisoned Dog Injures Veterinarians

(Beyond Pesticides, December 17, 2012) Pets are frequently exposed to toxic chemicals used for lawn care, bug sprays, flea and tick products, and rodenticides. Recently, a dog ingested a zinc phosphide based pellet rodenticide, and threw up these toxic chemicals, creating a toxic gas that caused respiratory stress for four of the veterinary staff where the dog was being treated. The incident happened in Vail Valley Animal Hospital in Edwards, Colorado on December 7, and led to one emergency room veterinarian and three technicians being sent to the hospital. Sadly the dog did not survive after releasing this toxic gas. This is not the first incident of phosphine gas exposure at a veterinary clinic as a total of four have been reported from 2006 to 2011 in Michigan, Iowa, and Washington. When zinc phosphide is ingested and comes in contact with water it forms a poisonous gas. In a statement, the local fire protection district explained, “When the dog vomited, this released the [phosphine] gas as the pesticide had mixed with the contents in the dog’s stomach.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), inhalation of high concentrations of phosphine gas can be deadly and can cause […]

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05
Nov

Growing “Super Rat” Population Is Resistant to Rodenticides

(Beyond Pesticides, November 5, 2012) An ongoing study in the United Kingdom has found that in areas of southern England up to 75% of the rat population is potentially resistant to the common rodenticides warfarin, bromadiolone, and difenacoum. Pesticide resistance was documented in rats as early as the 1950’s. Common rodenticides used in homes already pose a high risk to human and animal health, but as more rodents become resistant to these pesticides individuals face the greater danger of pest control companies using higher doses of more lethal chemicals to deal with “super rats.” The rodenticides being tested in this study are anticoagulant pesticides that work by blocking vitamin K-dependent synthesis of the blood clotting substance prothrombin. These chemicals cause the animal to bleed to death internally. Not only are these chemicals toxic to mammals, but they are often used in dangerous loose bait and pellet traps. These traps put children at particular risk for exposure because the products are typically placed on floors, and young children sometimes put bait pellets in their mouths. The American Association of Poison Control Centers annually receives between 12,000 and 15,000 reports of children under the age of six being exposed to these types […]

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09
Aug

Groups Urge EPA to Ban Dangerous Rat Poisons

(Beyond Pesticides, August 9, 2012) On Monday, Beyond Pesticides joined with 23 public health and environmental advocacy groups to send a letter to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), urging it to follow through with its original plan to cancel the sale of most toxic rat poisons to residential consumers. In 2008, after over a decade of these products being on the market and widely available to consumers, EPA gave manufactures three years to comply with new risk mitigation requirements for rat poisons. However, the companies Reckitt Benckiser, Liphatech, and Spectrum Brands, producers of d-Con, Rid-a-Rat, and Hot Shot each decided to flout EPA requirements and ignore compliance with the regulations. The letter urges EPA to follow through with its ”˜Notice of Intent to Cancel’. It also instructs the agency to issue an order for emergency suspension of these products under FIFRA section 6(c), based on evidence of imminent hazard to human health and to wildlife. While the cancellation of these products will better safeguard the health of children, pets, and wildlife, EPA’s risk mitigation requirements do not go far enough to ensure protections for vulnerable populations. Children are particularly at risk for exposure because young children sometimes put bait […]

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09
Jun

EPA Takes Actions to Reduce Risk From Rat and Mouse Poisons

(Beyond Pesticides, June 9, 2011) Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is moving to ban the sale of most toxic rat and mouse poisons, as well as most loose bait and pellet products, to residential consumers decades after these products were first introduced to the public. Though these rules will better protect children, pets and wildlife, the changes do not go far enough for vulnerable populations, because they will still be allowed by pesticide applicators and in agricultural settings. Children are particularly at risk for exposure to rat and mouse poisons because the products are typically placed on floors, and because young children sometimes place bait pellets in their mouths. The American Association of Poison Control Centers annually receives between 12,000 and 15,000 reports of children under the age of six being exposed to these types of products. Beyond Pesticides urges consumers not to use poisons for rodent control indoors, but rather advocates the use of traps and nonchemical exclusion techniques that eliminate food and water sources and entryways. In 2008, EPA released its final risk mitigation decision for ten rodenticides, with new measures intended to protect children and the public from accidental poisonings […]

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15
Dec

Rat Poisons Continue to Threaten Children

(Beyond Pesticides, December 15, 2010) Every year, more than 10,000 kids are poisoned by rodenticides (pesticides made to kill rodents) and virtually all of the calls to U.S. poison control centers concern children under six. New rules and restrictions set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will go into effect next June in an attempt to prevent incidents involving children, but do not go far enough to protect children or wildlife. EPA has known for a generation that children have easy access to these super-toxic rat poisons. Every year, more than 10,000 kids are getting a hold of them, with Black and Hispanic children living below the poverty line being disproportionately affected. Records show that the EPA is aware that children have been getting into these poisons in significant numbers, according to data since 1983. Between 2004 and 2008, U.S. poison control centers continued to receive 10,000 to 14,000 calls about the rat killers annually. EPA has estimated that these incidents reported to poison control centers probably account for only about one-fourth of all exposures. On average, about 3,700 of these cases are treated by medical professionals each year, according to reports of the American Association of Poison Control […]

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08
Apr

EPA Sets New Restrictions on Phosphine Fumigants to Reduce Poisonings

(Beyond Pesticides, April 8, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requiring new restrictions on aluminum and magnesium phosphide products in an attempt to better protect people, especially children, from dangerous exposures. The new restrictions prohibit all uses of the products around residential areas and increase buffer zones for treatment around non-residential buildings that could be occupied by people or animals from 15 feet to 100 feet. Human exposure to these toxic chemicals, though slightly minimized, would nevertheless continue because of their continued availability for use on athletic fields and playgrounds, around non-residential buildings, and in agricultural production. Phosphide fumigants are known to be highly acutely toxic when ingested or inhaled. Symptoms of mild to moderate acute exposure include nausea, abdominal pain, tightness in chest, excitement, restlessness, agitation and chills. Symptoms of more severe exposure include diarrhea, cyanosis, difficulty breathing, pulmonary edema, respiratory failure, tachycardia (rapid pulse) and hypotension (low blood pressure), dizziness and/or death. Aluminum and magnesium phosphide fumigants are used primarily to control insects in stored grain and other agricultural commodities. They also are used to control burrowing rodents in outdoor agricultural and other non-domestic areas. The fumigants are restricted to use by specially trained pesticide applicators. […]

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04
Jun

EPA Tightens Controls for Ten Rodenticides, Leaves Major Exposure Risk

(Beyond Pesticides, June 4, 2008) On May 29, 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final risk mitigation decision for ten rodenticides, which outlines new measures it says will help protect children and the public from accidental poisonings as well as to decrease exposures to pets and wildlife from rodent-control products. However, because the decision omits key uses, allows continued applicator use of dangerous formulations, and recognizes a lack of product efficacy without a fully integrated program (yet does not require it on the label), environmentalists feel the final risk mitigation decision falls short of adequately protecting the health of people, wildlife and the environment.EPA is requiring that ten rodenticides used in bait products marketed to consumers be enclosed in bait stations, making the pesticide inaccessible to children and pets, and is also prohibiting the sale of loose bait, such as pellets, for use in homes. These ten rodenticides are: ”¢ Brodifacoum ”¢ Bromadiolone ”¢ Bromethalin ”¢ Chlorophacinone ”¢ Cholecalciferol ”¢ Difenacoum ”¢ Difethialone ”¢ Diphacinone ”¢ Warfarin ”¢ Zinc phosphide Exposure to children is also a major concern for these chemicals. According to the 2006 Annual Report of the American Association Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data […]

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