All anticoagulant rodenticides over the ‘specific concentration limit’ of 30 parts per million (PPM) of active ingredient will have to be either re-formulated or labelled as ‘toxic to reproduction’ as of 30 June 2018, according to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
These changes will affect nine rodenticide active ingredients: brodifacoum, bromadiolone, chlorophacinone, coumatetralyl, difenacoum, difethialone, flocoumafen, warfarin and warfarin salt.
But there is some hope for the professional market, as there is one range of difethialone-based baits that is already under this level, at 25 PPM.
Richard Moseley, Bayer technical manager explains that the Rodilon® range, from Bayer, is the only range that already complies with the new legislation.
“Rodilon® is already being used successfully for rodent control ‘in and around buildings’ and came to the market six years ago, formulated at this reduced level. It comes in four different baiting options and is a single feed treatment,” says Richard.
The new classification may affect pest controllers in a number of ways. The prediction is that the amateur market will be directly affected, as products will not be available to amateur users above the 30 PPM threshold.
“The products will need to be re-formulated. Consequently, there could be a concern about the efficacy of rodenticides at a lower concentration, and the issue of potential tolerance. “In any case a re-education will be needed, because at lower concentrations, rodents may have to eat more of the bait, so treatments and return visits need to be more frequent,” he says.
For the vast majority of the professional market there are two options for manufacturers:
1) Re-formulate products
2) Keep products at 50 PPM, for example, but re-label with the message ‘toxic to reproduction’
The concern for pest controllers is whether sites they currently treat are going to be happy to have products used with this warning on the label.
“Employers have a responsibility to take care of their employees and must pay special attention to ‘vulnerable groups’, and pregnant women fall into that category. If an employer is adhering closely to Health and Safety Legislation (which they should be), then this additional warning may cause them some concern, especially if they are being audited very closely - in the case of food manufacturers, for instance,” adds Richard.