While Beyond Pesticides commends EPA for following through with its NOIC in order to protect residential consumers and children, unfortunately, there are several shortcomings to its decision. Human and wildlife exposures to these toxic chemicals, though slightly minimized, will nevertheless continue because of their continued availability for use in agricultural production and to pest control operators. Pest control operators will still be allowed to use these chemicals in homes, at their discretion, which means residential exposures continue, albeit at slightly lower levels. These measures also do not apply to rodenticide field uses, or to tracking powder products, which may utilize any of the ten rodenticides, and thus continue to impact residential consumers and non-target wildlife.
EPA expects Reckitt Benckiser will request an administrative hearing to challenge the ruling, and if so the company’s products can continue to be sold until a finding is made. EPA official Rusty Wasem estimated that if the company decides to challenge the decision, it will be another 12 to 18 months before the products are canceled.
For more information on rodenticides and their impacts on human health, wildlife, pets, and the environment, read Beyond Pesticides’ recent article in Pesticides and You. Or for least toxic control of mice and other pests, visit the alternatives page.