There’s nothing much cuter than babies and puppies. But did you know that some flea collars can also be dangerous for your kids? Even touching them can transfer the toxins to your baby. The toxins can be absorbed through the skin or, heaven forbid, your baby touches the flea collar and then puts those little fingers in his mouth.
The flea collar situation is bad. Here’s a summary from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) blog:
“Last summer, EPA quietly conducted a risk assessment of flea collars with propoxur and found that normal use of these collars on pets could pose significant health risks to children. Despite these findings, EPA has still not taken any action six months after their risk assessment, and we have since discovered that EPA’s assessment had major flaws that seriously underestimate the health risks from these products. In other words, these flea collars are even more dangerous than previously believed.”
The blog goes on to detail the ‘flaws’ mentioned. One of them increased the EPA risk assessment by 56 times! You can read more about it on the NRDC blog post, EPA Continues to Lag in Protecting Kids and Pets from Toxic Flea Collars or read the supplement to the petition (a heavier and more complex read than the blog.)
You do not want your children around these flea collars.
The offending toxic chemical, Propoxur, is classified as a human carcinogen and is toxic to the human nervous system. In California – where flea collars containing Propoxur must have a warning on the label – Propoxur is classified as a cancer-causing agent by the state’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act.
To see whether Propoxur is in a flea collar you’re looking at buying, check the label for propoxur, tetrachlorvinphos, amitraz or carbaryl.
It has also been sold as Arprocarb, Bay 9010, Baygon, Bayer 39007, Bifex, Blattanex, Brifur, Bolfo, BO Q 5812315, ENT 25671, Invisi-Gard, OMS 33, PHC, Pillargon, Prentox Carbamate, Propogon, Proprotox, Propyon, Rhoden, Sendran, Suncide, Tendex, Tugen, Unden, and Undene – this is an older list and I doubt any of these are available anymore but, just in case, you know what to look for.
Some of the flea collars that contain Propoxur are:
– Adam’s brand “Plus” collars
– Bio Spot brand collars
– Sentry brand “Dual Action” collars - Sergeant’s brand “Sendran” collars
– Sergeant’s brand “Triple Protection” collars
– Vet Kem brand “Tick Away” collars
– Zodiac collars
That might not be all of them, so make sure you check the labels. Also, for a list of different brands of flea collars and their levels of toxicity, check the Greenpaws database.
You can sometimes control fleas without chemicals. Kids and puppies are cute, but you want to make sure you protect your child by getting flea collars that are safe – for both the puppy and the baby.