I don’t think the manufacturers of toxic flea treatments could have predicted how the phrase, ‘to kill two birds with one stone’, would have such relevance to their products.
Collect manufacturers with an obsession for profit, greedy, irresponsible retailers, lazy government officials and the arcane regulation of chemicals and you have a surefire recipe for disaster. Like drunks behind the wheel of a car ignoring every sign along the way, they careen down a perilous road, despite tragedy after tragedy. Like Scarlett O’Hara, they exclaim, ‘I won’t think about that today, I’ll think about that tomorrow…after all tomorrow is another day!’
But the real tragedy lies with the naive assumption that manufacturers are telling consumers the truth. Consumers have been sold a bill of goods, they believe what the package says, they trust the manufacturer to never sell anything that would cause them, their children and their beloved pets, irreparable harm. Negative buying habits aren’t born, they’re created. Hypnotized by the glossy ads, the sweet pictures of frolicking happy pets, consumers have been lulled into a false sense of security.
Consumers don’t have a prayer; they are busy, exhausted, overwhelmed and an anxious bunch. If the manufacturers have an advantage, it’s when that consumer, while struggling to make a decision, is given a kind of implicit assurance, powered by millions of dollars of careful brand marketing, that a respectable company like theirs is trustworthy and honest. Manufacturers spend staggering amounts of money on advertising and marketing annually. They call it brand awareness and acceptance, I call it bullshit.
Which brings me round to my tired, old drum and worn-out soap box: please, for Pete’s sake, do not even consider buying those terrible over-the-counter flea topical treatments, collars, toxic shampoos and flea bombs. I implore you, consider the consequences, and ask yourself this question – is it worth it? Sure, in the short-term you saved a couple o’ lousy bucks and nuked the fleas, but now, by golly, every member of the household, including the family dog and cat, have irreversible brain damage, a myriad of scary nervous system disorders and cancer!
So, the next time you’re standing in the aisle at your local Petco or PetSmart contemplating throwing caution-to-the-wind and exclaiming, ‘C’mon, just how bad can it be?’ – I urge please, please turn the package around and read VERY carefully the warning label. Those ingredients are designed to destroy the nervous systems of living organisms, whether it be flea, canine, feline or human. Pesticides aren’t designed to be specific, they are designed to kill.
Sure fleas and ticks are a nuisance, but you know what’s an even bigger drag? Those darn chemicals Tetrachlorvinphos and Propoxur are not only toxic to those little buggers, but to the nervous system of every living organism on the planet as well.
Among the many gruesome insecticides and pesticides used in flea treatments, Tetrachlorvinphos and Propoxur are among the most dangerous pesticides still legally on the market—not only to parasites and pets, but they also pose a risk to both the children and adults who play with their pets.
Symptoms of poisoning include a nasty smorgasbord of muscle twitching, seizures, respiratory paralysis and even death. Both chemicals are also likely to cause cancer. Young children are particularly susceptible (not to mention cats and dogs) to these pesticides’ effects because their nervous system and brain are still developing, and their ability to metabolize these chemicals is weaker than that of adults. In addition, kids often put their hands in their mouths after petting an animal, and to pets because they groom themselves and so are more likely to ingest the hazardous residues.
Despite the risk of selling neurotoxic and carcinogenic products, when retailers, including Petco and PetSmart, were made aware of these dangers, they didn’t do a darn thing about it and in fact left these hazardous products on store shelves.
Trust me on this one, the few lousy bucks you’ll save will never compensate for the damage those products will inevitably cause. So, read the package, do some research and you will see that the only people who truly benefit from flea treatments are the manufacturers and retailers who are laughing all the way to the bank.
If you think a pesticide made your pet sick, call NPIC at (800) 858-7378 to report the incident. For emergencies, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Centerat (888) 426-4435.
READ MORE ABOUT IT
- NRDC: Pet Products May Harm Both Pets and Humans
- GreenPaws Flea and Tick Products Directory
- Pocket Guide to Safer Flea & Tick Treatments
- The Cancer Prevention Coalition’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of most toxic consumer product includes the Zodiac Cat & Dog Flea Collar Labeled Toxic Ingredient propoxur, Carcinogenic; neurotoxic.
- Zodiac Flea Collars on “Dirty Dozen” List
- Flea Collars Kill Kittens
- Veterinary Q&A: Flea-control treatment
- EPA’s Pet Spot on Products Analysis & Mitigation Plan – EPA’s main web page about over the counter flea products
- Poison on Pets Report by NRDC
- Tetrachlovinphos information from Pesticide Action Network of North America (PANNA)
- Propoxur information from Pesticide Action Network of North America (PANNA)
- Check out the National Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) website just for pets called Green Paws for all sorts of things you can do
- Send a message urging PETCO and PetSmart to protect pets and their people by removing pet products, such as flea collars, with dangerous and unnecessary chemicals from their stores.
- Participate in the National Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) action to urge your senators to co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act (S. 847)
- Tell the EPA to protect kids from toxic pesticides in pet flea collars
PET PRODUCTS CONTAINING PROPOXUR
- Adams “Plus” Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs and Cats
- Bansect Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs and Cats
- Bio Spot Flea and Tick Collars for Cats and Kittens
- Bio Spot for Dogs Flea and Tick Collar
- Scratchex Color-Full Flea and Tick Collar for Cats
- Scratchex Color-Full Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs
- Sentry Dual Action Flea and Tick Dog Collars
- Sentry Purrscriptions Dual Action Flea and Tick Cat Collar
- Sergeant’s Bansect Flea and Tick Cat Collar
- Sergeant’s Double Duty Flea and Tick Collar
- Sergeant’s Double Duty Flea and Tick Collar for Cats
- Sergeant’s Duel-Action Flea and Tick Cat Collar
- Sergeant’s Sendran Collar
- Vet-Kem Breakaway Plus Flea and Tick Collar for Cats
- Vet-Kem PowerBand Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs
- Vet-Kem Tick Away Dog Collar
- Zodiac Breakaway Flea and Tick Collar for Cats
- Zodiac Flea and Tick Collar for Large Dogs
- Zodiac Flea and Tick Collar for Puppies
- Zodiac Flea and Tick Collar for Small Dogs
- Zodiac Tick Collar for Dogs
PET PRODUCTS CONTAINING TETRACHLORVINPHOS
- Americare Rabon Collar
- Hartz Ultraguard Flea and Tick Collar
- Hartz Ultraguard Flea and Tick Powder
- Hartz Ultraguard Flea and Tick Spray
- Hartz Ultraguard Plus Flea and Tick Collar
- Hartz Ultraguard Plus Flea and Tick Spray
- Longlife 90 Day Collar
- Pet Principles by Hartz Collars