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Children, dogs, and cats love to romp around the house together, snuggle for a nap, and play in the yard. Fleas are never welcome guests to the party, but the pesticide-laden collars used to keep the pesky insects at bay could be harmful to kids. The National Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit with the EPA this week in an effort to ban two common pesticides found in the treatments.

flea collar, flea and tick treatment, neurotoxic chemicals
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The EPA already has restrictions on most neurotoxic pesticides found in flea treatments, but has yet to reign in neurotoxic propoxur and tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP). These chemicals are known to cause cancer, as well as damage to the human brain and nervous system. They have been compared to lead in their harmful effects, yet still allowed to be sold in US stores by such companies as Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc., Wellmark International, and Hartz Mountain Corporation. Once the pesticide residue makes its way onto an animal’s fur or bedding, petting the animal can transfer the chemicals directly through the skin or when a child brings their hand to their mouth.

The NRDC points out that the EPA has had a decade to eliminate the pesticides from the industry. While the doses of pesticides are less harmful to adults, children are at higher risk due to their smaller body size and developing nervous systems. For safer methods of flea control, the NRDC offers a GreenPaws project guide that ranks the safety of pest products.


via EcoLiving