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Pesticides

US EPA green-lights mice-control chemical

by Britt E. Erickson
October 12, 2019 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 97, ISSUE 40

 

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The US Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to allow the use of a rodenticide containing the active ingredient α-chloralose to kill mice in homes and other buildings. The product, manufactured by France’s Lodi Group, works by lowering the body temperature of small animals like mice. After eating α-chloralose, mice get hypothermia and die within a few hours. The EPA believes that the product, sold under the name Black Pearl Paste, is a safer alternative to rodenticides that contain anticoagulants or neurotoxins. Anticoagulants suppress blood clotting, and neurotoxins attack the central nervous system. The agency expects human and pet exposure to the new product to be negligible because the company plans to sell it enclosed in a sachet inside a tamper-resistant bait station. The product would not be approved for outdoor use. “Even if children or large animals were to ingest [α-chloralose], they are unlikely to be affected by body temperature changes caused by this chemical,” the EPA says in an Oct. 7 statement. The agency is accepting comments on the proposal until Oct. 22.

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