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Consumer Safety

Maker Of Rat Poison d-CON To Pull Products

Pesticides: Reckitt Benckiser to phase out 12 d-CON rodenticides in response to EPA safety concerns

by Britt E. Erickson
June 5, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 23

Credit: Reckitt Benckiser
This d-CON product is one of 12 that Reckitt Benckiser has agreed to stop manufacturing.
Photo of d-Con pest elimintator.
Credit: Reckitt Benckiser
This d-CON product is one of 12 that Reckitt Benckiser has agreed to stop manufacturing.

After a long battle with federal officials, Reckitt Benckiser, maker of d-CON rat and mouse poisons, has voluntarily agreed to stop manufacturing 12 of its products by the end of this year. Distribution of the products to retailers will cease by March 31, 2015.

The company’s action comes after the Environmental Protection Agency moved to ban the 12 d-CON products last year, saying they do not meet the agency’s safety standards and “pose unreasonable risks to children, pets, and wildlife.” Reckitt Benckiser contested EPA’s decision, which put the ban on hold.

EPA welcomes the new agreement with Reckitt Benckiser because the deal will get the products off the market sooner than if the agency had to continue legal proceedings. “This voluntary move will get us far faster results than would otherwise be achieved through an administrative process,” says Jim Jones, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety & Pollution Prevention.

12 Rodent Poison Products Affected By Phaseout


◾ d-CON Concentrate Kills Rats & Mice
◾ d-CON Ready Mixed Kills Rats & Mice
◾ d-CON Mouse Prufe Kills Mice
◾ d-CON Pellets Kills Rats & Mice
◾ d-CON Mouse-Prufe II
◾ d-CON Pellets Generation II
◾ d-CON Bait Pellets II
◾ d-CON Ready Mixed Generation II
◾ d-CON Mouse-Prufe III
◾ d-CON Bait Pellets III
◾ d-CON II Ready Mix Baitbits III
◾ d-CON Bait Packs III

The 12 d-CON products are sold to consumers as pellets or powder, not in tamper-resistant bait stations. EPA has required that rodent control products sold to consumers be enclosed in such protective stations since 2011.

In addition, eight of the 12 d-CON products contain what are called second-generation anticoagulants—brodifacoum or difethialone. These rodent poisons are more toxic and persistent in the environment than first-generation compounds such as warfarin. Second-generation substances have been banned in consumer products since 2011 because of their toxicity to wildlife.

Under the agreement, the replacement d-CON products will not contain second-generation anticoagulants and will be sold in protective stations. Reckitt Benckiser previously cited concerns about alternative products that contain a neurotoxin which, unlike d-CON ingredients, has no known antidote. “The new d-CON bait products for sale will continue to utilize effective ingredients for which an antidote is readily available and which do not contain a neurotoxin,” the company says.

The agreement comes just one month before California is expected to implement a ban on the sale of second-generation anticoagulant rat poisons. Reckitt Benckiser unsuccessfully tried to delay that ban, which takes effect on July 1.



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