Many tick and flea collars seen in stores contain TCVP – a dangerous chemical that presents serious health risks to pets and people.
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"You can protect your family and your pets by avoiding products that contain TCVP and practicing safe flea and tick prevention habits, including recognizing situations where you may expose your pets to fleas and ticks.
"If you or your child experiences a negative health outcome from a flea collar containing TCVP, there are steps you can take to seek help, report the incident, and minimize any future harm to the wider community", the District of Columbia Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection said.
Tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP) is a chemical commonly used in pet products to kill fleas and ticks.
TCVP kills these pests, but also may be extremely dangerous for pets and their owners, especially young children and pregnant women.
Thousands of pets have been harmed by this pesticide. And, even small amounts of exposure can cause irreversible harm to a child’s brain development and increase the risk of learning disabilities. Symptoms of TCVP may include nausea, vomiting, wheezing, or more severely, muscle twitching, seizures, respiratory paralysis, and death.
When used as intended, a pet flea collar with TCVP leaves residue on a pet’s fur and skin. This residue can stay on your pet’s body for weeks even after the flea collar is removed, and the residue can be transferred to furniture and bedding and anyone who pets the animal.
This toxic residue is absorbed through people’s skin as they pet their animal or expose themselves to contaminated areas. Children, whose developing brains are at the greatest risk from TCVP, are more likely to ingest the chemicals by putting their hands in their mouths and playing on the floor where pets leave the most residue.
Prenatal exposure to TCVP is also possible, and can lead to behavioral deficits, motor deficits, and cognitive deficits like memory and IQ deficits in children.
Flea collars containing TCVP transform the simple act of playing with pets into an extremely dangerous activity. Yet, the labels on these products often do not warn pet owners of these serious health risks.
How do I identify pet products with TCVP so I can avoid them?
Consumers can avoid harmful pet products with TCVP by looking out for the following:
Tick and flea prevention pet collars, dusts or powders, and liquid sprays, which often contain TCVP. These products are commonly found at Walmart, Target, grocery stores, such as Giant and Safeway and other retailers in the District, as well as online vendors such as Amazon. Just because a product is on the shelf at your favorite store does not necessarily mean it is always safe to bring home to your family.
Labels that say, “do not let children play with collar” or “harmful if swallowed or absorbed through skin”, but the labels do not specify the degree of danger and risk of playing with the pets themselves after they are treated with the product.
The following pet flea and tick products that contain TCVP or other harmful chemicals:
Hartz Ultra Guard Flea and Tick Collar
Pet Armor Flea & Tick Collar
Zodiac Flea and Tick Collar
Adams Plus Flea & Tick Collar
Hartz Ultra Guard Flea and Tick Powder
Hartz Ultra Guard Flea and Tick Spray
Bio Spot Flea and Tick Collar
Seresto Flea and Tick Collar. ■