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EPA investigates reactions from flea, tick killers

Agency is scrutinizing products' safety

April 17, 2009
By: Jennifer Fiala
For The VIN News Service

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is evaluating the safety of spot-on pesticide products to control fleas and ticks for pets following a sharp increase in adverse reaction incidents. 

In a statement released yesterday, EPA reports that it is intensifying its evaluation of whether further restrictions on the use of these products are necessary to better protect pets. Last year, more than 44,000 potential adverse reactions were reported to EPA, ranging from skin irritations to seizures and, in some cases, death. 

No recalls, voluntary or otherwise, were issued at press time. 

The incidents, according to EPA's statement, can involve a range of pesticide products, however most complaints are related to flea and tick treatments with EPA-registered spot-on products. 

EPA advises pet owners to take precautions when using spot-on products, adding that they should follow label directions and monitor their pets. The agency also suggests that pet owners should consult a veterinarian about how to use flea and tick products responsibly and effectively.

VIN News Service commentaries are opinion pieces presenting insights, personal experiences and/or perspectives on topical issues by members of the veterinary community. To submit a commentary for consideration, email



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