Campaign Urges Retailers to Discontinue Rodent Poison Products EPA Wants Banned to Protect Children

Dec 18, 2013, 10:13 ET from Beyond Pesticides

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A national environmental group, Beyond Pesticides, is supporting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to protect children by asking national retailers, including Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and Lowe's, to make the holidays safer for children and stop selling dangerous d-CON rodent bait products. Determined by EPA to present unreasonable risks to children and the environment, the 12 products slated for cancellation contribute to the thousands of rodenticide poisonings of children each year. The manufacturer of d-CON products is using a legal tactic to allow the continued sale of the 12 d-CON products, despite an EPA action to ban them.

"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 issued its 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 established in 2008. The mitigation measures require products to use bait stations and secured bait forms, instead of loose baits which children can more readily access, as well as eliminating the most toxic and persistent active ingredients. On March 6, 2013, the company challenged EPA's decision, delaying 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 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, there is concern that more needs to be done to ensure that these dangerous products do not fall into the wrong hands or mouths. National retailers are being urged to take the lead and stop sales of the 12 dangerous d-CON products and ensure that regional stores pull these products from shelves.

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Contact: Nichelle Harriott, Aimee Simpson, Jay Feldman

SOURCE Beyond Pesticides