Dog Itching? Flea allergies or flea spray toxins? Beware in 2020 and learn from these symptoms, common flea treatment horror story and Dow Chemical lawsuit.
Chemical Toxins In Flea Spray
Barbara J. Andrews, Publisher, AKC Master Breeder
Lawsuit against Dow Chemical Co. charged that chemicals in Dursban, a flea and tick spray, caused severe damage to family's unborn children.
As you read this horror story in 2020, bear in mind that any of these toxic chemicals may be contaminating your surroundings, both indoors and outside. According to Wikipedia, many such insecticides are still widely used in American agriculture and more so in other countries from which we now import fruit, veggies, prepared foods and household cleaners.
Not satisfied with do-it-yourself treatments, the Burkes decided to call an exterminator who told them they would have to leave during the treatment, giving the routine warning that the pesticide could harm youngsters and that Mrs. Burke, being pregnant, could also be at risk.
It wasn't until later that they connected the fact that their first child was born with congenital cataracts, static encephalopathy (brain damage, hydrocephalus ("water on the brain"), and cerebral palsy, a medical term which covers a wide number of muscular and motor disorders.
The wife was pregnant again and sure enough, their second child was born with cataracts, severe brain damage, and cerebral palsy.
The Burke family of St. James, NY filed suit against Dow Chemical Company and Core Marketing, the company that produces Rid-A-Bug. Their 1993 suit charged that chemical toxins in the spray cross the placental barrier and caused severe damage to two of their unborn children.The Burke's dog Dino, came and went as he pleased. Concerned about tick-related disease, they regularly used flea and tick killer on the carpets. The treatment containd xylene (a solvent) and chlorpyifos; its trade name is Dursban and some ingredients were known neurotoxins.
There are many more details to this tragic story. The point is, we still don't know enough about short term exposure to certain chemicals (agent orange is a good example of scientific blundering) and the long term effects on human health. Dow claimed "Dursban is safe for people" and in Iran, where it was widely marketed, that Dursban had "an established record of safety regarding humans and pets."
Perhaps we should pull our troops out of these countries and just send bug spray!
Here's what this means to you today. A report in Home Mechanix warned carpets attract and hold dust mites, mold spores and other micro-organisms, including toxic pesticides, and even lead. In addition, wall-to-wall carpet must be cleaned with strong chemicals that may harm your children or pets.
Children and pets are closer to the floor and make full body contact with the carpet in addition to directly inhaling chemical content. A safer solution would be area carpeting, which can be removed and cleaned with safer products.
According to Jeffrey Brent, M.D. of the Rocky Mountain Poison Control Center in Denver, common pesticides such as Diazinon and Malathion can be particularly hazardous. Dr. Brent says that organophosphates "are more harmful to pets than fungicides or herbicides such as Chlorothalonil or Dicamba. Most herbicides are fairly harmless to most pets."
Although truth in advertising has made giant strides in safety, relying on product labels can be risky. Ingredients may not have been tested for that use or approved by the appropriate agencies. If an ingredient is not specifically on the forbidden list, it may be used even though known to be toxic.
The chemical pesticide Dursban, long used for termite treatment, was finally banned and supposedly replaced by environmentally, safe natural products, thanks to the internet and our ability to share problems. But know this - evasive action by Dow Chemical's battery of lawyers, delayed pulling these products from the market and they are, at this writing, still used in agriculture.
Beware of lawn chemicals which are absorbed through your pet's paw pads. Never let pets or children out to play in the yard when the grass is wet as this increases absorption.
If in doubt, do your own online research because chemical and pharmaceutical companies spent $billons on advertising their products and carefully wording warnings to diminish buyer rejection. Education is the key to prevention. Your pets and children depend on you to understand and eradicate the risks of chemical toxicity in their environment.
If you suspect a pet or family member may have been poisoned, call the emergency number 1-800-222-1222 the National Poison Control Center will automatically connect to their free service in your state. Depending on who answers, you may get quick, basic information for animal poisoning and it is free, 24-7.
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