What are you using to keep your pet (and your house) flea-free? It turns out that many flea and tick treatments may contain toxic chemicals that can poison pets and harm people. According to a new report from the Natural Resource Defense Council, (NRDC) high levels of pesticide residue can remain on a dog's or cat's fur for weeks after a flea collar is put on an animal. Residue levels produced by some common flea collars could be exposing you, your pet – and your kids – to carcinogens at levels 1000 times greater than the EPA’s acceptable limit for children.
This news is particularly unsettling for pet-owners with children, as a child's developing body is extremely susceptible to damage from exposure to high levels of pesticides. They are also more likely than adults to come in contact with flea collars as they pet and play with their pets and to put their hands in their mouths after contact. The NRDC found that residues from two pesticides used in flea collars — tetrachlorvinphos and propoxur, among the most dangerous pesticides still legally on the market — were high enough to pose a risk to both children and adults who play with their pets.
So how do you keep your pets flea-free? Fortunately, the NRDC has done the dirty work on this and put together a handy pocket guide that shows you which chemicals to avoid, which ones are safe, and even the best chemical-free methods to keep fleas off your pets.
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