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EPA To Ban Certain Rodent Poisons

Pesticides: To protect children and wildlife, the agency has decided to ban products that contain toxic chemicals

by Cheryl Hogue
January 31, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 5

To stop the accidental exposure of some 10,000 children a year to mouse and rat poison, EPA is moving to ban a dozen products sold as d-CON.

EPA said last week that d-CON maker Reckitt Benckiser is the only company that refuses to adopt measures to protect children and wildlife from all rodent control products it sells for consumer use.

“Moving forward to ban these products will prevent completely avoidable risks to children,” says James J. Jones, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety & Pollution Prevention.

The affected d-CON products such as d-CON Ready Mixed are sold as pellets or powder and are not in tamper-resistant bait stations, according to the agency. As of 2011, EPA required rodent control products sold to consumers to be enclosed in bait stations. The agency says it has received no reports of children exposed to rat and mouse poisons produced by companies that have complied with this safety standard.

In addition, eight of the d-CON products targeted in the ban contain brodifacoum or difethialone. Since 2011, EPA has prohibited sale of consumer products containing these pesticides because of their toxicity to wildlife. To date, the company is not in compliance with the law.

England-based Reckitt Benckiser did not respond to calls for comment by C&EN’s deadline. Unless the company requests an administrative hearing to challenge EPA’s move, the agency in early March will cancel the federal pesticide registration for the 12 d-CON products, rendering them illegal to sell. Other d-CON products on the market are not affected.


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