(Beyond Pesticides, December 18, 2012) Certain pesticide manufacturers are gearing up to try to block EPAâ€™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 EPAâ€™s order and have indicated that they will challenge the agencyâ€™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 EPAâ€™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, and more protective of children, pets and wildlife.
In 2007, EPA proposed a requirement that all over-the-counter rodenticides sold for residential use only be available in tamper-resistant bait stations to reduce the incidents of accidental exposure to children. In 2008, EPA issued its risk mitigation decision to reduce the risks that mouse and rodent poison products pose to children, pets, and non-target wildlife, requiring manufacturers that distributed rodenticides to meet the risk management goals. Those rodenticide manufacturers that failed (refused) to adopt the standards by June 2011 face EPA action to remove and cancel their products.
Here is what you can doâ€¦
1. Send a letter of support to EPA and ask your member of Congress to stand by EPA’s decision to adopt measures that protect children and wildlife from dangerous rodent poisons.
2. Do not purchase products slated for cancellation: see here for the list.
3. Tell your friends and family that corporate interests must not be allowed to prevail over the health of our children and the environment.
For more information, read Beyond Pesticides recent article in Pesticides and You.
All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.