Flea Collars A Threat To Human Health

by Mary Haight on April 29, 2009

Preparing for pesticide application.
Image via Wikipedia

As reported in my recent list of non-toxic alternatives for Earth Day, the EPA is re-examining flea and tick spot type applications due to a sharp rise in adverse effects reports.  In case you hadn’t heard, in a related story the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an organization comprised of scientists, lawyers, and others, filed a lawsuit in California to protect consumers from toxic chemicals in pet products.

“New NRDC Analysis Reveals Flea Collars Create Toxic Chemical Residues on Pet Fur that Threaten Human Health. In new scientific analysis also released today, NRDC found high levels of propoxur and tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP), another carcinogenic neurotoxin common in household pet products, on pet fur after use of ordinary flea collars. NRDC is also petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), calling for the removal of these chemicals from pet products.”

The study, the first measuring propoxur residue on pets’ coats, found that some brands carried up to 1000 times more than the EPA designated “safe” level for cancer risk in children and up to 500 times more for the same in adults. After three days, 100% of pets using a collar with propoxur posed significant risk to toddlers, and 50% of pets with TCVP showed significant risk. This study also revealed that unsafe residue remains on pets for two weeks after a collar is applied. That is an incredibly strong, long lasting dose of neurotoxin. If a family has multiple pets, the effect on all its members is multiplied.

“The EPA has never compiled data on pesticide levels found on a pet’s fur after use of flea collars” according to this report, which may be one reason why they are still found on the shelves of your local pet supply stores.

The NRDC has compiled a downloadable guide to toxic chemicals listed by risk rating.  Use it in good health!  Now I’d like to know what cancers in dogs are a direct result of such high and repeated exposures  to these neurotoxins…

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  1. […] Flea Collars, A Threat to Human Health  *non toxic alternatives are linked here also […]

  2. […] been a lot of trepidation about the safety of flea and tick collars and spot type skin applications for pets and the toxic exposures to dogs, cats and the people in […]

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