Late yesterday, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation announced new restrictions on rodenticides linked to impacts on children’s health and wildlife. These previously over-the-counter products will no longer be sold on store shelves starting July 1, 2014.
These new rules directly challenge at least one manufacturer — Reckitt Benckiser Inc., manufacturer of D-Con — that has refused to adopt U.S. EPA safety standards and stop selling the rodenticides in question. When EPA banned D-Con brand products in 2013, the Reckitt Benckiser filed a legal challenge against the agency’s decisions, which is still pending.
In response to California’s new restrictions for rodenticides, PAN campaign coordinator Medha Chandra released the following statement:
“State officials took an important and necessary step yesterday to rein in the use of rodenticides. These pesticides are toxic to children, pets and wildlife. And the new restrictions will ensure that hazardous rat control products will no longer be sold openly to consumers in the state. Starting in July, only certified professionals will be able to handle these products.
This move also brings at least one rogue pesticide company into compliance with the law. DPR’s new regulations will help rein in Reckitt Benckiser Inc. and ensure their D-Con products are off California store shelves. The company has long fought federal and state efforts to limit the use of child-harming products.
This move by the Department of Pesticide Regulation will protect thousands of children from accidental rodenticide poisoning. In the U.S., 10,000- 12,000 children are reportedly poisoned from second-generation anticoagulant rodenticide (SGAR) products like D-Con. Some of these products are colorful pellets, and when used at home, small children can mistakenly consume them — with disastrous results.
California’s restriction on SGARs will also help reduce non-target wildlife poisonings in the state. Raptors such as hawks and owls routinely get poisoned after eating rodents that have died from consuming SGARs. Even small mammals like foxes are also at risk of poisoning.. These rodenticides are highly hazardous to birds and small animals, causing uncontrollable internal bleeding.
The good news is that alternatives to rodenticides already exist. Simple, commonsense steps can be taken to prevent rodent infestations at home and eliminate the need for using chemicals known to harm children and wildlife.”
PAN and other groups have long-promoted safe alternatives to harmful pesticides, including those listed for rodent control available at www.saferodentcontrol.org.
Contact: Paul Towers, 916-216-1082