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EPA moves to ban the sale of some rat poisons

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The agency cites a need to better protect children and pets
  • D-Con, Victor and Hot Shot are among the targeted products
  • Some 15,000 kids under the age of 6 are exposed to rat and mouse poisons each year

Washington (CNN) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday that it would work to ban the sale of some mouse and rat poisons in a bid to better protect children and pets.

The agency in 2008 gave makers of such poisons until last week to research, develop and register new products that would be safer than those that were then on the market. Many companies complied, but some did not.

Among the targets are such popular rodent poisons as D-Con, Victor and Hot Shot, the agency said.

"These changes are essential to reduce the thousands of accidental exposures of children that occur every year from rat and mouse control products and also to protect household pets," said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA's office of chemical safety and pollution prevention. "Today's action will help keep our children and pets safe from these poisons."

The EPA said that as many as 15,000 children under the age of 6 are exposed to rat and mouse poisons each year.

Children are especially at risk, the agency said, because poisons are often put on the floor and kids will sometimes put bait pellets in their mouths.

The sales ban would cover most loose bait and pellet products, the agency said. The EPA also intends to ban the residential sale of poisons that contain certain compounds -- brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone and difenacoum -- because of their toxicity. Professional pest control and agricultural workers would still be allowed to use them, the agency said.