After years of battling the EPA over the safety of d-CON, U.K.-based Reckitt Benckiser Group came to an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and will ban the sales of their rat poison. d-CON, the United States' most popular rodenticide, has been linked to accidental poisonings in children, pets and wildlife.
Friday, the maker of d-CON announced that 2014 will be the last year of manufacturing the bait pellets that the EPA had opposed. The company has plans to release a new, less dangerous formula later in 2015.
d-CON has been used by consumers for decades because it kills rodents within days of a single feeding. d-CON performs by thinning the blood of rodents, causing uncontrollable bleeding. "Millions of households use mouse and rat poison products each year. Canceling these products will help prevent risks to children, pets and wildlife," assistant administrator at the EPA Jim Jones explained, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Reckitt Benckiser Group resisted the EPA's measures in the past saying that alternative forms of rat poison were less effective and sometimes more dangerous to children and pets. The EPA's concerns also extended to the disastrous effects of d-CON from secondary poisonings to fox, eagles, owls or other wildlife that ate rodents exposed to d-CON. For this reason and accidental poisonings to pets and children, California banned sales of d-CON starting in July of 2014. Many retailers in California have already stopped stocking their shelves with d-CON.
When caught in time, d-CON antidotes such as Vitamin K were able to be used and the manufacturer says that future products will continue to use ingredients that will have an antidote and will not utilize any neurotoxins either. The manufacturer says that the new formula will control rodents without affecting pets, children or other wildlife accidentally.
"This is a significant victory for families, pets and wildlife," Jonathan Evans, of the Center for Biological Diversity, said according to Kansas City Infozine."While the fight isn't over until all of these hazardous products are off the market, this decision keeps the worst of the worst products from residential consumers."
According to The North Coast Journal, Nicole Paquette, of the Humane Society, said, "Although under this agreement Reckitt Benckiser is allowed to continue to sell these harmful products until the end of the year, we urge retailers to remove them from store shelves immediately." According to the EPA, nearly 10,000 children a year are accidentally exposed to d-CON and similar anticoagulant rodenticides.