Date of this Version
Beginning in the 1960s, labels for federally registered commensal rodenticides have been required to bear a statement to the effect that the baits are to be contained in "tamper-proof bait boxes" when used in locations accessible to children and nontarget animals. Faced with ample evidence of noncompliance with the letter and spirit of this portion of the label, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a policy statement (PR Notice 83-5) and scheduled public hearings on matters pertaining to bait stations and nontarget exposure incidents involving rodenticides. EPA's findings indicate that, while some clarifications of its policies might be helpful to rodenticide users and to bait and bait station manufacturers, the historical requirements for bait protection have been appropriate and necessary. Additional steps and incentives appear to be needed to increase the extent of compliance with label requirements for use of protective bait stations and thereby reduce the incidence of exposures of young children, dogs, and other nontarget organisms to commensal rodenticide baits.