Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2011 09:12:05 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
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From: ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Subject: Re: Chemical Safety headlines from Google
In-Reply-To: <3867CB87-C2CB-488F-94D7-D29EBED77881**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG>

Wow, what a teachable moment that article is.  I'm sure that lay persons and the families of these kids found this hard to swallow (ooo, a pun):

Emergency crews also contacted the manufacturer, which informed them that there has never been a known case of someone being poisoned by the product.

"This particular poison, for human consumption, would have to be consumed in a much larger quantity to be toxic," Talmadge said.

Sure enough, when you look it up: _A_L/bromadiolone/bromad_prf_0185.html you find that while this stuff is incredibly toxic to rats, mice and poultry, that for other species:

Dogs: Acute Toxicity - The maximum tolerated oral dosage (MTD) is 10
               mg/kg.  For a 10 kg dog, this 
corresponds to 100 mg of pure
               Bromadiolone; that is, 2 kilos of bait at 
the dosage of
               0.005%.  =46rom 15 mg/kg on, hemorrhages begin to appear
               starting from the third day.  They are fatal unless we
               administer an intravenous injection of Vitamin K1 (5 
mg/kg of
               body weight).
               Chronic Toxicity - Daily dosages of 0.5 mg to 1 mg/kg 
               corresponds to 10 to 20 g of bait at the dosage of 0.005% 
               active material per kilo of body weight, cause no fatal
               reaction.  On the other hand, the ingestion of 200 
g of bait
               (10 mg/kg of active material) per kilo of body weight 
               several days can cause mortality.  This hazard 
is unrealistic,
               considering the total amount of bait that has to be 
               for several days.
      Cats:    The cat is more resistant than the dog.  The maximum 
               oral dosage (MTD) stands at 25 mg/kg of active material, 
               represents, for an animal weighing 2 kgs., a 
consumption of
               one kilo of bait at 0.005%.
      Swine:   The tests were carried out with animals of an average 
               of 25 kgs.
               The maximum tolerated dosage (MTD) for 5 days was 
25 mg of
               active material per day, per animal; that is, 500 gms. 
of bait
               at 0.005% of active material.
               There was no noticeable effect after a daily ingestion of 
               gms. of bait at 0.005% of active material for 45 days.
               No mortality was caused after two treatments of five days
               each, separated by an interval of 15 days' rest, of 
               corresponding to 125 gms., 250 gms., and 500 gms. of 
               treated at 0.005% of active material.
This sort of difference is not surprising to toxicologists, of course.  Such differences between species are not uncommon, and this is just another reminder of how difficult it can be to establish "safe" levels of chemicals, particularly in the absence of adequate epidemiological and/or environmental studies.    

Which, of course, goes to how difficult it is to restrict chemicals that actually pose serious harm, and the hay that lawyers make with such "conflicting" data.

Speaking of lawyers, I wonder if the manufacturer prints "RAT POISON. DO NOT EAT." on the bait cubes?

Rob Toreki

Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names
you know and trust.  Visit us at
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