“The EPA encourages consumers to use only mouse and rat poison products that meet the EPA’s safety standards,” the agency said. “These products are effective, affordable and widely available at retail stores.”The manufacturer, which also makes a variety of health and home-cleaning products, argues that it has spent several years trying to work with the EPA to address concerns about accidental exposures to children, pets and non-target wildlife, and said it’s “confident about assembling a compelling and comprehensive case” in court.
The company also argues that when anti-coagulents are accidentally ingested, they’re more easily treated with Vitamin K. Not so with the neurotoxin in the allowable rodenticides, said Hal Ambuter, director of regulatory and government affairs for d-CON products.
The company also argues that the ban forces consumers to rely on private pest control application services, which may be unaffordable.
“We continue to believe that removing the most advanced and effective rodenticides from the consumer market and leaving consumers with fewer alternatives that include less effective products to which rodents are resistant, or products containing a powerful neurotoxin without a known antidote, does not achieve these goals and, ironically, could put the public health and environment at greater risk,” Ambuter said.
There’s a lot of noise in Congress about the EPA and overregulation, including bills that would loosen restrictions for farmers and others to use separate rodent-, insect- and weed-killing chemicals.
But consumer groups that monitor pesticide use and bird watchers say that loose pellets of rat poison are particularly problematic and should be banned for consumer sale. The state of California is considering its own separate ban of products to keep loose bait from being sold to consumers.
Bob Rosenberg, executive vice president of the National Pest Management Association, noted that the EPA ban has been in the works since 1998 and will remove products from the market that pose unacceptable risks to children, pets and wildlife. In his group’s view, it prohibits the use of potentially dangerous loose baits and products that pose risks to wildlife when misused by people who are untrained and unlicensed to ensure their safe application.
“Sprinkling loose rat poison on the floor is not something a professional should do,” he said, “and not something homeowners should do, either.”