EPA Moves to Keep Rat Poison from Kids, Animals
Just when you thought you'd heard it all, it turns out the EPA is finally getting around to keeping rat poison out of the hands of children.
Amazingly, it only took until 2008 to happen, but better late than never. And now it seems you'll have to be a farmer, livestock owner or certified rodent control employee to buy the stuff in bulk. With bags over 8 pounds no longer sold in stores.
And to further ensure this nasty stuff stays out of the hands of kids, they're making sure that the loose bait-like pellets and the four most hazardous types of pesticides, known as "second-generation anticoagulants," will no longer be sold for personal use either.
Unfortunately, a study done by the American Association of Poison Control Centers showed that over 60,000 accidental poisonings resulted from the stuff between 2001 and 2003, with approximately 250 a year resulting in serious injuries or death.
Effects on Wildlife
And the EPA pointed out it believes the restrictions will not only keep the products out of the hands of kids, but also reduce the ecological and wildlife risks associated with exposure to rat poison. As bait blocks that are usually placed on the ground often incorporate fish and other flavors that also attract endangered species such as mountain lions.
According to Michael Fry, director of conservation advocacy for the American Bird Conservancy and a vocal advocate of the EPA's recent decision, "In California, almost every animal tested by the National Wildlife Service had residues of rodenticides. The rat baits are also very lethal to scavengers, because the toxins remain in the rodent's body long after they initially die."
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