Group Asks Retailers to Stop Sale Immediately of Rodent Poison Products, Given Today's Agreement to Stop Production, But Not Sale, by End of Year

May 30, 2014, 15:29 ET from Beyond Pesticides

WASHINGTON, May 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With today's announcement that the production of deadly rodent baits will stop by year's end, a national public health and environmental group is renewing its request of the nation's retailers to immediately stop the sale of d-CON® anticoagulant rodent bait products, citing the poisoning of children, pets, and wildlife. This call comes as the manufacturer of d-CON®, Reckitt Benckiser LLC, announced an agreement today with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in which it will cease production, but not sale, of the product by the end of 2014.

"It is outrageous that a highly toxic product associated with the poisoning of children, pets, and wildlife remains on the market one more day, let alone for the years it will take to exhaust supplies," said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. "One child harmed from the continued sale of this product is one child too many," said Mr. Feldman. Between 1993 and 2008, the American Association of Poison Control Centers logged 12,000 to 15,000 poison exposure reports of children under the age of six from mouse and rat baits.

Early in 2013, EPA issued a notice to cancel the registration of 12 rodenticide products manufactured by Reckitt Benckiser LLC after the company refused to adopt voluntary risk mitigation measures established in 2008. The measures required that products be sold in bait stations and secured bait forms, instead of loose baits that children can more readily access, and not contain the most toxic and persistent active ingredients. On March 6, 2013, the company challenged EPA's decision, delaying a decision that was to 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.

EPA has been criticized for agreements with manufacturers that allow products that exceed the agency's safety standards to remain in the marketplace, without warning to consumers and users, years after their products have been de-registered.

Beyond Pesticides urges families with small children 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. 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 toxic rodenticide products, all the major national retailers are being urged by Beyond Pesticides to immediately stop sales of the 12 dangerous d-CON® products and ensure that regional stores pull these products from shelves.

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SOURCE Beyond Pesticides