EPA Urges Parents to Keep Household Chemicals Secured

More than 10,000 accidental exposures per year involve mouse and rat poisons, according to the agency.

During National Poison Prevention Week, March 17-23, the Environmental Protection Agency is urging parents and caregivers to secure pesticides and other household chemicals in locked cabinets so they are out of the reach of children.

"Poison Prevention Week is a time to raise awareness and strengthen prevention efforts to empower parents and caregivers with information about simple steps that can be taken to prevent poisonings," said James Jones, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. "EPA continues to take action to help prevent these risks to children and help ensure that the products on the market are both safe and effective for consumers. Our recent move to ban the sale of 12 D-Con mouse and rat poison products produced by Reckitt Benckiser Inc is a prime example of our commitment."

Under new EPA safety standards, consumer-use mouse and rat poison products must include a protective tamper-resistant bait station.

More than 90 percent of poisonings happen in people's homes. EPA's tips to stay safe are:

  • Always store pesticides and other household chemical products in a locked cabinet.
  • To protect children and pets from exposure to mouse and rat poison, use products with a tamper-resistant bait station.
  • Go through your home room by room to see where there are potential poisoning hazards and correct them.
  • Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container tightly after use.
  • Never transfer pesticides and other household chemical products to containers that may be mistaken for food or drink containers.
  • Program the Poison Help Center number, 1-800-222-1222, into your phone.

A list of rat and mouse products that meet EPA's safety standards is avaialble here.

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