South Orange, NJ
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
By Alan Caruba
The Environmental Protection Agency is always going on about the ways it "protects" everyone, but its greatest achievement has been to protect them out of countless jobs eliminated by their regulations and restrictions. Their latest diktat is directed at products that consumers can purchase to rid their homes, apartments, and other facilities of mice and rats
If they keep it up, soon the only thing you will be able to purchase is a mouse trap.
I stopped believing anything the EPA had to say on most things because it is usually based on distorted statistics and totally dubious "science" such as their continuing claim that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a "pollutant" that must be regulated. CO2 is vital to all life on Earth as the "food" that supports all vegetation. It has zero affect on the atmosphere, being a mere 0.0380% of it.
Recently, the EPA gave $1.29 million of our money to China "to promote environmental research" there. The objective was to reduce "carbon emissions" in a nation that, unlike America, is building reliable, traditional coal-fired utilities to generate electricity, i.e. power to grow their economy.
I happen to know a lot about pest control because, for twenty-five years I have been the public relations counselor to a state pest management association. Before that I served in a similar capacity for a pesticide manufacturer who was forced by the EPA to withdraw an extraordinary defense against all manner of insect pests from the marketplace. It had passed all the requirements to initially be registered for use, but the EPA then insisted it repeat the multi-million dollar process. The company and the product that was applied with nothing more than water waved bye-bye to the U.S.A.
For the record, I have not represented any pesticide manufactures in more than four decades. I say this because most of the smear "profiles" of me on the Web continue to suggest that I do. That is, when they are not insisting that I work for Exxon, too.
Pest management firms use rodenticides that are inside enclosed bait stations that children or pets cannot access. That said, mice and rats cannot be exclusively controlled by such devices. Professionals must access wall voids, attics and other areas rodents use for nests. They use a variety of products to do this include small bags of rodenticide and even powders.
The EPA claims that poison control centers receive between 12,000 and 15,000 reports of children under the age of six being exposed to pesticides in the form of pellets or baits placed where they can find them. Reports, however, are not poisonings. Any call a poison center gets is "a report", so what we really have here is the EPA playing fast and loose with the truth. When you consider that there are millions of rodenticide applications every year by pest management professionals, that constitutes an astonishing record of safe use.
Anyone who would go to the local garden supply outlet or similar vender, purchase rat and mice bait, and then put it where children can get at it is the definition of stupidity, but it happens. Trained, licensed and certified pest management professionals do not do this.
The goal of the proposed ban is to "better protect children, pets, and wildlife." Well, okay, but rats and mice are
Moreover, rats and mice are responsible for an enormous amount of property damage to all kinds of structures from homes to warehouses. They are Nature's prime vectors of disease, spreading Salmonella, whenever they get access to foods of all description. This is why all food-related outlets are subject to constant inspection by health departments in cities and towns.
The difficulty people encounter with a mouse invasion has to do with how swiftly they breed. A female can have anywhere from five to ten litters of five or six young. They are born between 19 and 21 days after they mate and their young reach reproductive maturity in six to ten weeks. The result is that a single pair of mice can rapidly multiply wherever they can find a steady source of food and water.
Rats reproduce in a similar fashion. Thus, by the time you realize you have a problem, it is probably already in need of professional pest control. Rats bite more than 45,000 people each year, a figure far in excess of the EPA claim of poison "reports" (many of which include other substances.)
All the enclosed bait stations you can purchase are not likely to respond to a do-it-yourself effort to reduce a rodent infestation. The availability of other rodenticide products at least gives people—particularly those with low incomes—a chance to deal with the problem.
Since the EPA intends to ban the sale and distribution of products containing brodifacoum, bromadiolone, defethialone, and difenaccoum to residential consumers, that means most consumers will no longer have access to any rodenticides to protect themselves against a rat or mouse infestation.
Meanwhile, the EPA is under pressure from Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) to ban Triclosan, a key ingredient that has been safely used to stop the spread of viruses and keep kids healthy via anti-bacterial soap. Hospitals use such products to maintain a sterile environment, but Markey is determined to end that with the help of the EPA.
This is what passes for "protection" from the Environmental Protection Agency.
In sum, Americans are not being protected. They are being put at risk for all manner of diseases from an insane, Nanny-State agency that has pushed so far beyond its original mandates that the safest thing Americans could do at this point is to insist that it be shut down.
South Orange, NJ