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Rodenticides

Ask Retailers to Care About Kids™
and Pull Toxic Pesticide Product from Shelves

What You Can Do!
Send an email to retailers and sign onto our petition.
Print out the local action letter to sign and bring to your community store.

Organizational
Sign-on Letter

Sign-on as an organization to Beyond Pesticides' letter to retailers.
Learn More
Press Release Cancelled Products
Background Harmful Effects
More Resources Alternatives
EPA Information

Ask Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowe's, and other major retailers, to make the homes safer for children and stop selling dangerous mouse and rat bait products –responsible for thousands of poisoning incidents involving children each year and determined to be an unreasonable risk to the environment and children by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Using legal tactics to delay EPA’s ban of its products, Reckitt Benckiser LLC, the manufacturer of d-CON products, continues to sell 12 of its toxic products to retailers across the nation, despite findings that they present unreasonable risks to children, pets, and wildlife. These products can still be found on the shelves of Walmart and several other national retailers, despite regulatory action to remove these products from the market.

“Walmart and other major retailers should immediately discontinue the sale of these toxic mouse and rat poisons. There are effective alternatives available that do not put children, pets, and wildlife at danger of poisoning and even death,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides.

Early in 2013, EPA announced its decision to move forward with a Notice of Intent to Cancel the registration of 12 rodenticide products manufactured by Reckitt Benckiser LLC after the company refused to adopt voluntary risk mitigation measures in 2008 to reduce children’s exposures. The mitigation measures involve rodent bait forms in secured, tamper-resistant bait stations, instead of loose pellets and granules baits which children can more readily access, as well as eliminating the most toxic and persistent pesticide active ingredients. On March 6, 2013, the company challenged EPA’s decision, which delays for potentially years a ban that otherwise would have taken effect on March 7, 2013. This was the first time in more than 20 years that a company declined to implement EPA risk mitigation measures for pesticide products.

Between 1993 and 2008, the American Association of Poison Control Centers logged between 12,000 to 15,000 poison exposure reports of children under the age of six from mouse and rat baits.

Beyond Pesticides urges families with small children especially to utilize alternative measures to prevent rodent problems, including sealing gaps around the doors by replacing worn thresholds and weather stripping, and installing door sweeps, as well as caulking openings around water pipes, electric wires, cables, and vents. The group notes that there are many baits traps on the market that do not utilize toxic chemicals.

While some local stores and national retailers have taken steps to remove the slated-for-cancellation d-CON products from their shelves, more needs to be done ensure that these dangerous products do not fall into the wrong hands or mouths.  National retailers must take the lead and establish affirmative policies to halt all sales of the non-compliant d-CON products.  National retailers must also takes steps to ensure that regional stores follow-through with any company-wide policy to stop sales and pull these dangerous products from store shelves.

The Road to Reducing Rodenticide Risks

Between 1993 and 2008, the American Association of Poison Control Centers logged somewhere in the range of 12,000 to 15,000 reports of rat and mouse poison exposures each year for children under the age of 6. These numbers and other concerns about pet and non-target wildlife exposures spurred EPA to renew its efforts to establish better protections for children and the environment.

In 2008, EPA issued a risk mitigation decision that established stronger risk mitigation restrictions for the sale and use of ten active ingredients found in various registered rodenticide products. Some of the strongest protections targeted consumer-use products, those sold for internal, residential use and some outdoor residential uses in stores like Walmart and other major retailers. These restrictions prohibited the sale of “loose” rodenticide bait, such as pellets, powders, and liquids and required all such consumer-use baits be sold with protective bait stations. The mitigation measures also prohibited brodifacoum, difethialone, bromadiolone, or difenacoum (otherwise known as second-generation anticoagulants (SGARs)) in any consumer-use products by establishing minimum packaging size standards.

Giving rodenticide manufacturers three years to implement the new protective measures, EPA requested that manufacturers adopt the mitigation measures by June 2011. Rodenticide manufacturers that failed or refused to adopt the standards by that time would face EPA enforcement actions to remove and cancel their products.

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Harmful to Children and the Environment

The rodenticide products slated for cancellation pose significant risks to human health. Children are particularly susceptible to these risks because they play on floors and explore by putting items in their mouths, which can include loose rat poisons like d-CON. The most recent data from the 2011 Annual Report of the American Association on Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System indicates a reported total of 12,886 rodenticide exposures, with nearly 80% of those cases involving children 5 or under.

Children aren’t the only concern. In is risk mitigation review, it noted poisoning to pets and non-targeted wildlife as well. These rodenticides have been tied to the poisonings of federally listed threatened and endangered species, such as the San Joaquin kit fox and Northern spotted owl. Rodents can feed on poisoned bait multiple times before death, and as a result their carcasses contain residues that may be many times the lethal dose. Poisonings occur when predators or scavengers feed on these poisoned rodents.

As a result of these negative effects on wildlife, some endangered, the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is calling on Reckitt Benckiser to drop its legal challenge rather than engage EPA in a “lengthy and fruitless appeals process.” In its press release, ABC stated, “It is time for d-CON to put children’s health and animal welfare above corporate profits and to follow the rules like every other rat-poison manufacturer.”

Disproportionate Impacts on Low Income Groups

Rickett Benckiser argues that regulation preventing the use of their product could have a significant impact on low income and minority populatioons. Certainly, from a poisoning perspective this is true. Black and Hispanic children living below the poverty line are disproportionately affected. For example, a study in New York found that 57 percent of children hospitalized for eating rat poison from 1990 to 1997 were African-American and 26 percent were Latino. However, low income and minority populations are also the least financially prepared to deal with the unintended consequences of rodenticide poisonings and exposure, considering the rising costs of health care. Considering the impact to low income populations, children, and wildlife, EPA has the responsibility to restrict poisonous and dangerous rodenticides.

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Available Consumer and Integrated Pest Management Alternatives

EPA made sure that there would be clear and effective alternatives to the use of unsecured bait stations. Walmart, for example, carries a wide variety of both non-toxic alternatives, such as mechanical and sticky traps, and more protective bait station products. These alternatives make stocking these unsafe canceled products unnecessary for consumers and retailers like Walmart.

In addition to these consumer-based alternatives, Beyond Pesticides believes that defined integrated pest management (IPM) practices for structural pest management are vital tools that aid in the rediscovery of non-toxic methods to control rodents and help facilitate the transition to a pesticide-free (and healthier) world. See Beyond Pesticides' Factsheet on IPM Methods for rodent control. For more information on IPM, visit our Safer Choice page.

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The Choice: EPA Has Called on Retailers to Stop Carrying these Products

Despite the clear danger these products present to children, pets, and wildlife and the EPA’s request to voluntarily stop selling these specific products that present these unreasonable risks, Walmart and other retailers have continued the sale of d-CON.

According to an EPA webpage containing information on the canceled rodenticides:

Until EPA completes the administrative cancellation procedures required by law (FIFRA section 6(b)), these products may be legally sold and used according to the terms, conditions, and instructions of their most recent agency approved labels. However, we encourage retailers to stock and consumers to use only those products that meet EPA’s safety standard.

EPA’s diligent efforts to support its protective standards for these dangerous types of rodenticides should not be ignored.  Retailers know that these products are harmful and have a choice to support the safety of children and the environment, over the interests of one rodenticide manufacturer.

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d-CON Products Slated for Cancellation

EPA Registration Number

Product Name

3282-3

D-CON CONCENTRATE KILLS RATS & MICE

3282-4

D-CON READY MIXED KILLS RATS & MICE

3282-9

D-CON MOUSE PRUFE KILLS MICE

3282-15

D-CON PELLETS KILLS RATS & MICE

3282-65

D-CON MOUSE PRUFE II

3282-66

D-CON PELLETS GENERATION II

3282-74

D-CON BAIT PELLETS II

3282-81

D-CON READY MIXED GENERATION II

3282-85

D-CON MOUSE-PRUFE III

3282-86

D-CON BAIT PELLETS III

3282-87

D-CON II READY MIX BAITBITS III

3282-88

D-CON BAIT PACKS III

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Beyond Pesticides Information and Resources

EPA Information and Resources

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Take Action: Tell Walmart to Choose Children’s Safety

Please click here to send the following email to the following stores:
Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, ACE Hardware, Giant, True Value, and Walgreens.

 

Subject: Care About Kids and Stop Selling Dangerous d-CON Products

I am writing to ask you to stop selling hazardous d-CON products and support the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rodenticide safety standards. The sales of d-CON rodenticide do not meet these safety standards that were put in place to protect children, pets, and wildlife. I am urging you, in part with Beyond Pesticides, to care about kids and immediately remove these products from your shelves.

According to the most recent 2011 Annual Report of the American Association on Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System,10,259 children five or under were exposed to rodenticides, with two reported deaths. Rodenticide products also have been tied to the poisonings of thousands of pet incidents, recorded in 2011 by the EPA, resulting in severe injury and death, not to mention medical costs to owners’ pests and federally listed threatened and endangered species.

EPA definitively stated these products fail to comply with safety measures when it issued its Notice of Cancellation to the manufacturer of d-CON, Reckitt Benckiser LLC. Rather than putting the safety of children, pets, and wildlife first, however, this manufacturer is the first company in more than 20 years that has declined to voluntarily implement EPA risk mitigation measures for pesticide products.

There are clear and effective alternatives to the use of unsecured bait stations. As a retailer you carry a wide variety of these non-toxic alternatives, such as mechanical and sticky traps, which makes stocking these unsafe canceled products unnecessary.

I sincerely hope you take the threats posed by d-CON products seriously and move quickly to rid these rodenticides from your shelves.

Sincerely,

In addition to the letter above, download and print the local action letter to sign and bring in to your local retail store.

If your organization is interested in signing on to Beyond Pesticides' letter to major retailers, click here.

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