East Hawaii News

EPA to Ban Sales of Some d-CON Rat Poison Products

January 31, 2013, 12:42 PM HST
* Updated January 31, 12:43 PM
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The US Environmental Protection Agency is moving to ban the sale of a popular mouse and rat poison for failing to comply with the agency’s safety standards.

Removing the twelve D-Con products from the market is expected to drastically reduce accidental poisoning of children, the EPA said in a statement issued Wednesday.

About 10,000 children are accidentally exposed to mouse and rat baits each year, it said.

“Moving forward to ban these products will prevent completely avoidable risks to children, said James Jones, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “With this action, EPA is ensuring that the products on the market are both safe and effective for consumers.”

The EPA requires rodenticide products for consumer use to be contained in protective tamper-resistant bait stations, and prohibits pellets and other bait forms that cannot be secured in bait stations.

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The EPA said it has received no reports of children being exposed to bait stations made by companies complying with standards issued in 2011.

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The EPA in 2008 gave rodenticide companies three years to make changes to their product, but d-CON manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser Inc. has continued to sell non-compliant products.

The company said it did not comply with the then-voluntary standards because it felt removing the popular bait from the market would lead to greater rodent infestations and associated public health risks.

The 2011 standards also prohibit the sale to residential consumers of products containing brodifacoum – an anti-coagulant that is the active ingredient in some d-CON products – and bromadiolone, difethialone and difenacoum because of their toxicity to wildlife.

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The products can also harm household pets, primarily dogs, through the ingestion of either the rodenticide itself or mice or rats who have eaten the bait. It can take several days for the poison to kill the rodent, during which time they can become sluggish and more susceptible to predators.

The EPA provides a list of homeowner-use rat and mouse products that meet the EPA’s safety standards, which includes some produced by Reckitt Benckiser.

A list of the non-compliant d-CON products is available here.

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