The following article was written by author Helena Sung, and is courtesy of AOL.
As of September 2010, Carbaryl, a toxin currently being used in flea collars will be discontinued, reports the Portland Pet Health Examiner. Carbaryl, also known by its trade name, Sevin, “is a broad-spectrum insecticide used on lawns and gardens and agriculture crops that include apples, pecans, grapes, alfalfa, oranges, and corn.”
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an international nonprofit environmental organization, considers carbaryl “highly toxic”, and has pushed the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to get Wellmark International to discontinue using carbaryl in its pet flea collars, reports the Portland Pet Health Examiner.
While that may seem like good news, the NRDC published a startling and groundbreaking report in April 2009 that two pesticides — tetrachlorvinphos and propoxur — are still being used in flea collars, posing a significant danger to children, adults and animals. “High levels of pesticide residue can remain on a dog’s or cat’s fur for weeks after a flea collar is put on an animal,” the NRDC report states. “Some residue levels are so high that they pose a risk of cancer and damage to the neurological system of children up to 1,000 times higher than the EPA’s acceptable levels.”
And that’s not all. “Children are particularly at risk from these pesticides because their neurological and metabolic systems are still developing,” the report further states. “They are also more likely than adults to put their hands in their mouths after petting an animal, and so are more likely to ingest the hazardous residues.”
The NRDC is urging the EPA to ban the use of tetrachlorvinphos and propoxur in pet products. In the meanwhile, the organization suggests more natural methods of flea control, such as bathing your pet, combing its fur to find fleas, regular vaccuming and keeping grass and shrubbery clipped. The NRDC also recommends the use of pet products with Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs) found in sprays, spot applications, collars and pills. For more information, visit http://www.greenpaws.o