Flea Control: The Truth Behind Chemical Flea Control

With more than millions of dollars being spent strictly on advertising and marketing purposes for flea control manufacturers, there is evident controversy regarding the serious health problems associated with the use of chemical flea control on your pets. It's only natural for pet owners toassumethey are doing right by there pets when giving them flea control treatments to prevent their beloved pets from constantly itching. But considering pet owners are being mislead to believe that most chemical containing flea control is actually very harmful to their pet as well as the people who come in contact with the treated pet. Pet owners must understand that contrary to what advertising claims are stating, both over the counter flea control andveterinarian prescribed flea control are both pesticides that enter our dogs' internal organs, moving to their intestinal tracts, and eliminated into their feces and urine. Not only are these pesticides affecting pets, studies show that humans and other household pets that come in close contact with the dog treated with the chemical flea control can be greatly affected from the toxins that the flea control contains.

"The public must recognize that any decision to use a pesticide, or to otherwise be exposed to pesticides, is a decision made in ignorance," says Eliot Spitzer, former Attorney General of the New York Environmental Protection Bureau. "We do not know the identity of the chemicals to which we are exposed. We cannot make informed decisions on the acceptability of those exposures, a basic element in the maintenance and protection of our own health." Spitzer adds, "The requirements for marketing a new product fall considerably short of providing safety for our animal and human families."

Critics of the pesticide industry claim that the EPA registers pesticides not on safety, but cost- benefit basis, balancing health and environmental concerns against the economic gain to the flea control manufacturers and the user of the flea control product. Clearly Flea control manufacturers as well as the EPA are not immensely concerned about the health and safety of pets and the pet owners. Below is generalized information about the most common toxins found in flea control treatments widely used today.

Flea Control Toxins To Be Aware Of

Imidacloprid- Imidacloprid is the most commonly used flea control used today, being first introduced in 1994. From evidence obtained fromlaboratorytesting done on mice, dogs, and rats; results show that flea control treatments containing this active ingredient can beneurologically toxicto laboratory animals, causingin coordination, respiratory distress, thyroid lesions, reduced birth weights, and increased frequency in birth defects.

Fipronil - Fipronil, also classified as a neurological toxin and found to be carcinogenic to humans. Fipronil is found to cause liver toxicity, thyroid lesions (cancer), kidney damage, increased cholesterol levels, alterations in thyroid hormones,in coordination, respiratory distress, increased miscarriages, and smaller offspring. Dr. Virginia Dobozy of the EPA's Pesticide Division states that "this is a persistent chemical that has the potential for nervous system and thyroid toxicity after long term exposure at low dosages."

Pyrethrins - Pyrethrins, derived from the flower of the pyrethrin plant,Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium, is considered a nerotoxin also seen to interrupt the endocrine system as well as a carcinogenic.

Pyrethroids- Pyrethroids are the synthetic form of the natural pyrethrins, chemically engineered to be more toxic with longer breakdown times. Pyrethroids flea control use showssimilarities in the effects seen in pets.

Insect Growth Regulators (Methoprene, Pyriproxyfen) - Insect Growth Regulators limit the development ofjuvenilefleas so they cannot reproduce.Laboratory test results show IGR to cause enlarged livers and degeneration of parts of the kidneys.

If you believe your pet may have ingested a possibly poisonous substance, contact the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.