Groups Welcome US Phase Out of Pesticide Propoxur in Flea Collars for Cats and Dogs

An animal rights group and an environmental
and health rights group jointly welcomed the US phase-out of  pet collars
containing propoxur, a pesticide used to control fleas, ticks and other

The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and the EcoWaste Coalition said
that the decision by the US government and two pet product companies to stop
the use of propoxur in pet collars will help 
protect kids from pesticide risks.

Last Friday, March 14, the US Environmental Protection Agency  (EPA) announced
that it has reached agreement with Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc. and
Wellmark International to cancel flea and tick pet collars containing propoxur,  marketed under the trade names including Bansect,
Sentry, Zodiac and Biospot.

Propoxur-containing pet collars will be eventually phased out in US by 2016.

According to the EPA press release, the decision was reached as a result of
EPA’s risk assessment showing risks to children from exposure to pet collars
containing propoxur.

“Small children may ingest pesticide residues when they touch a treated
cat or dog and subsequently put their hands in their mouth,” the EPA said.

“Pet products should not contain substances that can pose harm to animals,
children and the  environment.  
Removing toxic propoxur in pet collars is a step in the right direction and we
laud it,” said 
Anna Cabrera, Executive Director, PAWS.

“The US phase-out of propoxur is relevant to our country since we import a
variety of pet products, including flea and tick treatments for cats and
dogs,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste 
Coalition’s Project Protect.

On Sunday, the EcoWaste Coalition’s AlerToxic Patrol went to the Cartimar Pet
Center in Pasay City to confirm if propoxur-containing pet collars are sold
locally and was able to buy US-made Sergeant’s 
Bansect for P120 and Sergeant’s Dual Action for P200, and China-made Harley
Baby for P120.

“The decision to phase out propoxur, we hope, should not lead to the dumping
of toxic pet collars that American consumers would now shun for the safety of
their kids and homes.  We urge shops to offer only non-toxic alternatives
that will not put kids and pets at risk,” Dizon said.

According to the EPA, “flea and tick collars work by leaving a pesticide
residue on dogs’ and cats’ fur, which can be transferred to people by hugging,
petting or coming into contact with the pets.”

“The major source of exposure to these chemicals is from absorption through
the skin after directly touching the treated pet,” it said.

The agreement to cancel propoxur was driven by the petition filed in 2009 by
the Natural Resources Defense Council to cancel the uses of propoxur and
tetrachlorvinphos (TVCP), another toxic 
pesticide, in pet collars.

In February 2014, the group sued the agency to get a response.