Makers Of d-Con Rat Poison Agree To Pull 12 Potentially Dangerous Products

One of the dozen d-Con products that will be phased out in the coming year. The company will still continue to make rodenticides that meet EPA safety standards.

One of the dozen d-Con products
that will be phased out in the coming year.
The company will still continue to
make rodenticides that meet
EPA safety standards.

For years, makers of mouse and rat poisons in the U.S. have been phasing out in-home rodenticides that use toxic pellets without a so-called “bait station” to contain them, allowing to pellets to scatter around a house, making their way into the mouths of curious kids. In fact, only one company has balked at pulling these potentially dangerous products from shelves; unfortunately, that company is the nation’s largest maker of rat poison.

The Environmental Protection Agency has acknowledged for decades that rodenticide pellets pose a poisoning risk when used in the home, and that around 10,000 children a year were accidentally exposed to these poisons.

Ten years ago the Natural Resources Defense Council and West Harlem Environmental Action successfully sued to get the EPA to develop safety standards for the rodent-control industry. Since then, only Reckitt Benckiser — maker of d-Con (and Lysol, and Clearasil, and Woolite, and Frank’s RedHot sauce, among many others) — has continued to put out products that don’t conform to the EPA standards.

The EPA maintains this list of products that meet its standards, some of which are from d-Con, but there are currently 12 d-Con in-home rodenticides that don’t pass muster.

The agency says that after attempting to negotiate the removal of these remaining products — including d-CON Ready Mixed Kills Rats & Mice and d-CON Mouse Prufe — it began to take action to cancel these products and force Reckitt to remove them from the market.

But on Friday, the EPA and Reckitt announced that a deal had been made that would phase out the production and distribution of these rodenticides over the next 10 months.

Reckitt will begin to phase out production of the 12 d-CON poison products immediately, with the goal to stop all production by Dec. 31. The d-Con products in question will no longer be distributed by the company after March 31, 2015.

The company is not allowed to stockpile or ramp-up production of these products in anticipation of the phase-out. Instead, Reckitt is only allowed to produce enough to meet existing orders.

Stores will be allowed to continue selling the products until their inventories are exhausted, which the EPA predicts would be during the summer of 2015.

“Today, we can celebrate a major victory for children’s health across the nation and for common sense,” writes Mae Wu, an attorney for the NRDC. “Now we can protect our kids and communities, and deal with rodent problems in our neighborhoods at the same time.”