Quantcast
Health

d-Con to Cease Production of Ultra-Toxic Rat Poisons

Reckitt Benckiser, the parent company of d-CON rat poison, has agreed to stop making its ultra-toxic rat poisons by the end of the year and to replace products on store shelves with safer ones by March 2015.

The company had faced years of pressure from health, animal-rights and conservation groups, and was in the midst of challenging a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision that would limit the sale of such rat poisons to avoid accidental poisonings of kids, household pets and wildlife, before coming to the agreement with EPA.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

“We can celebrate today the fact that d-CON’s days are numbered,” said Greg Loarie, an attorney with Earthjustice. “These poisons have been putting our children at risk and devastating our wildlife for far too long. There are many safe alternatives for controlling pests without the accidental poisonings.”

A number of organizations—including Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife and the American Bird Conservancy, represented by Earthjustice—have for decades been putting pressure on EPA to enforce sensible controls on toxic rodenticides. Mae Wu, health attorney at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), describes the recent history of EPA’s actions on rodenticides:

More than 15 years ago, the EPA determined that the thousands of annual home-use rodent poison exposures posed a serious human health risk and violated federal pesticide laws. The agency developed measures to protect children, pets, and wildlife from these poisonings, such as requiring the bait poison be contained rather than spread as loose pellets, which can be easily mistaken for candy by kids. EPA was required to develop these safety measures as a result of a successful 2004 federal lawsuit brought by NRDC and West Harlem Environmental Action (WE ACT). 

At that time, all rat poison producers agreed to cancellation proceedings except for one, Reckitt Benckiser. Due to the company’s refusal to act, EPA began a proceeding to remove the non-compliant products from the market, which has prompted Reckitt Benckiser to finally agree to a voluntary discontinuation of these products.

“Millions of households use mouse and rat poison products each year. Canceling these products will help prevent risks to children, pets and wildlife,” said Jim Jones, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “This voluntary move will get us far faster results than would otherwise be achieved through an administrative process.”

According to EPA, before the agency tightened standards for these household poisons, more than 10,000 kids a year were accidentally poisoned. New standards require rat poison products be housed in protective bait stations; pellets and other non-bait station forms are prohibited.

These highly toxic poisons, called second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides, including the compounds brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone and difenacoum, persist for a long time in body tissue and can poison predators that eat weakened rodents. The sale of these products to residential consumers has been prohibited by EPA due to the great risk to wildlife such as fox, wolves, eagles and mountain lions.

Safe Rodent Control offers a number of effective and safe rodent control strategies—covering common sources of food and water, common rodent access points, traps and promotion of natural predators—following three guiding principles: prevent, identify and treat.

——–

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Michael Green Takes on Toxic Chemicals

The Alarming Effects of Pesticides on Young Brains

30% Jump in Autism Rates Brings Greater Urgency to Toxic Chemical Reform

——–

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
Rice University marine biologist Adrienne Correa takes samples at a reef in Flower Garden Banks. Jesse Cancelmo / Rice University

Hurricane Harvey Runoff Threatens Coral Reefs

Hurricane Harvey's record rains didn't just unleash a torrent of floodwaters into the Gulf of Mexico—this freshwater could be harming coral reefs which require saltwater to live, according to new research.

After Harvey dumped more than 13 trillion gallons of rain over southeast Texas, researchers detected a 10 percent drop in salinity at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, located 100 miles off the coast of Galveston, Texas.

Keep reading... Show less

Pruitt Wants to Make the EPA Less Accountable to the Public

When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) breaks the law by missing deadlines, allowing polluters to violate regulations that protect our health and environment, one way the public holds it accountable is by taking the agency to court. Scott Pruitt and his corporate polluter allies see this as a problem, so Monday, the administrator moved to curtail the agency's practice of settling lawsuits with outside groups, making it easier to skirt the law.

"Pruitt's doing nothing more than posturing about a nonexistent problem and political fiction," John Walke, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's Climate and Clean Air program said in reaction. "His targeting of legal settlements, especially where EPA has no defense to breaking the law, will just allow violations to persist, along with harms to Americans."

Keep reading... Show less
Oil on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. Julie Dermansky

Nearly 400,000 Gallons of Oil Spews Into Gulf of Mexico, Could Be Largest Spill Since Deepwater Horizon

Last week, a pipe owned by offshore oil and gas operator LLOG Exploration Company, LLC spilled up to 393,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, reminding many observers of the Deepwater Horizon explosion seven years ago that spewed approximately 210 million gallons of crude into familiar territory.

Now, a report from Bloomberg suggests that the LLOG spill could be the largest in the U.S. since the 2010 BP blowout, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

Keep reading... Show less
Shutterstock

Big Food Is Worried About Millennials Avoiding Animal Products

By Nathan Runkle

Hundreds of leaders from fast-food chains, marketing agencies and poultry production companies recently gathered in North Carolina for the 2017 Chicken Marketing Summit to play golf and figure out how to make you eat more animals.

One session focused on marketing chicken to millennials. Richard Kottmeyer, a senior managing partner at Fork to Farm Advisory Services, explained to the crowd that millennials are "lost" and need to be "inspired and coached." His reasoning? Because there are now "58 ways to gender identify on Facebook." Also, because most millennial women take nude selfies, the chicken industry needs to be just as "naked" and transparent.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

Strange Days: Ex-Hurricane Ophelia Batters Ireland Under Orange Skies

By Dr. Jeff Masters and Bob Henson

Ex-Hurricane Ophelia hit Ireland hard with full hurricane-like fury on Monday, bringing powerful winds that caused widespread damage and power outages. At least two deaths have been reported from trees falling on cars, and The Irish Times said at least 360,000 ESB Networks customers lost power in Ireland because of the storm.

Keep reading... Show less
GMO
PBouman / Shutterstock

EPA Limits Use of Problematic Herbicide Dicamba—But Is That Enough?

By Dan Nosowitz

Dicamba has been in use as a local pesticide for decades, but it's only recently that Monsanto has taken to using it in big, new ways. The past two years have seen the rollout of dicamba-resistant seed for soybean and cotton, as well as a new way to apply it: broad spraying.

But dicamba, it turns out, has a tendency to vaporize and drift with the wind, and it if lands on a farm that hasn't planted Monsanto's dicamba-resistant seed, the pesticide will stunt and kill crops in a very distinctive way, with a telltale cupping and curling of leaves, as seen above. Drift from dicamba has affected millions of acres of crops, prompting multiple states to issue temporary bans on the pesticide. Farmers have been taking sides, either pro-dicamba or anti, and at least one farmer has been killed in a dispute over its use.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Runoff from a farm field in Iowa during a rain storm. Lynn Betts / U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service

Drinking Water for Millions in Rural America Contaminated With Suspected Carcinogen

Drinking water supplies for millions of Americans in farm country are contaminated with a suspected cancer-causing chemical from fertilizer, according to a new report by the Environmental Working Group.

The contaminant is nitrate, which gets into drinking water sources when chemical fertilizer or manure runs off poorly protected farm fields. Nitrate contaminates drinking water for more than 15 million people in 49 states, but the highest levels are found in small towns surrounded by row-crop agriculture. Major farm states where the most people are at risk include California, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Kansas.

Keep reading... Show less
www.youtube.com

Trump's Approval Rating on Hurricane Response Sinks 20 Points After Puerto Rico

President Trump's approval rating for overseeing the federal government's response to hurricanes fell by 20 points after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, a CNN poll conducted by SSRS revealed.

Trump's approval rating for responding to hurricanes Harvey and Irma stood at 64 percent in mid-September. Just a month later, the rating dropped to 44 percent.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

Get EcoWatch in your inbox