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The changing face of rodenticides

12 April 2018

Regulations on rodenticide use have been tightened over the years to protect the environment. However, the latest legislative changes aim to protect human health, says Richard Moseley a member of the Bayer Pest Solutions team. 

Anticoagulant rodenticides have been used by professional pest controllers on food production sites for over 50 years, and they remain the most effective method of rodent control to help ensure food safety, and protect site infrastructure.

Since 1 March 2018 all anticoagulant rodenticides over the ‘specific concentration limit’ of 30 parts per million (PPM) of active ingredient have either been reformulated, or labelled as ‘toxic to reproduction’, and must now include the phrase ‘may damage the unborn child’.

These changes are a part of a regulatory process called the 9th ATP, which saw all outdated products removed from shelves at the end of February. However, end users will still be able to apply the products with old labelling until 1 September 2018.

Rodenticide manufacturers who do not want their products to carry the new labelling have reformulated their products, with a reduced PPM, to comply with the new regulations, which are the lowest in regulatory history.

Pest controllers that wish to continue using rodenticides re-labelled with the toxic warning need to consider the additional risk. However, it is a possibility that these products may be banned from use in some food processing sites, or heir continued use might bring about considerably more paperwork for both pest controller and site manager.

While food hygiene and safety procedures should already be in place to stop food contamination, the newly labelled rodenticides may require more scrutiny from managers responsible for individuals working in their sites. Employers owe a duty of care to their staff so need to pay extra special attention to those included in ‘vulnerable groups’, and pregnant women fall into that category. To protect their employees, site managers should seriously consider using a rodenticide that is below 30PPM.

Before the new legislation came in, there were very few products on the market under 30PPM. However, the Rodilon range of baits has always been formulated at 25PPM and has been successfully used by pest control professionals around the country for the last seven years. This should convince food processors that the use of rodenticides with lower concentration levels of active ingredients will still be effective.

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