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EPA Bans Reckitt Benckiser Rat Baits

Twelve D-Con brand mouse and rat poison products produced by Reckitt Benckiser are to be banned by the EPA, and two new products denied approval, because they fail to comply with current safety standards set by the agency.

About 10,000 children a year are accidentally exposed to mouse and rat baits, and the EPA says it expects the ban to substantially reduce that exposure.

But America’s rodents should not rejoice quite yet. The agency has worked with a number of companies during the last five years to develop safer rodent control products that it says are “effective, affordable, and widely available to meet the needs of consumers.” Examples of products meeting EPA safety standards include Bell Laboratories’ Tomcat products, PM Resources’ Assault brand products and Chemsico’s products.

The agency says that Reckitt Benckiser is the only rodenticide producer that has refused to adopt EPA safety standards for all of its consumer use products.

Under EPA safety rules, rodenticide products for consumer use must be contained in protective tamper-resistant bait stations. Pellets and other bait forms that cannot be secured in bait stations are prohibited. In addition, the EPA prohibits the sale to residential consumers of products containing brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone, and difenacoum, because of their toxicity to wildlife.

For companies that complied with the new standards in 2011, EPA has received no reports of children being exposed to bait contained in bait stations. The agency says it expects to see a substantial reduction in exposures to children when the D-Con products that do not comply with current standards are removed from the consumer market, as millions of households use these products each year.

A full list of the D-Con branded products that are to be banned and denied approval, along with the deficiencies the EPA says they have, can be found here.

In November 2011, the EPA announced that it had taken another step toward removing from the consumer market 20 mouse and rat poisons – including some D-Con products – that the agency said were far more toxic than widely available alternatives. At that time the agency convened a scientific advisory panel to study the recommendation as required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

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