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Re: [FH] Re: frontlne

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  • savionna@aol.com
    Hi Judith, In a message dated 2/2/06 6:58:35 PM, howdeeeyall@aol.com writes:
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 3, 2006
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      Hi Judith,

      In a message dated 2/2/06 6:58:35 PM, howdeeeyall@... writes:

      << I recently read (in this group, I think) that all borates are somewhat
      toxic
      to cats. >>

      Do you remember what you read?

      It might be helpful to look at this in some perspective, since everything is
      "toxic" depending on dose. Of 20 common commercial flea-control products (from
      allethrin to tetramethrin), two-thirds are neurotoxic, half are carcinogenic
      (per the EPA), and nearly all have environmental implications.

      The MSDS on sodium polyborate indicates it is a very low hazard (for humans
      and other mammals): no skin irritation and no absorption thru intact skin; no
      eye irritation; mild inhalant irritant (at levels above 10mg/cubic meter);
      moderate gastrointestinal irritant (at levels above 1 tsp). It is not carcinogenic
      and affects reproduction in males only upon long-term ingestion at high
      doses. The LD50 in rats is about 3479 mg/kg body weight; by comparison, the LD50 of
      table salt is 4000mg/kg and aspirin is 1500mg/kg.

      So if the choices of flea-control options include synthetic neurotoxins
      applied to an animal...or synthetic pyrethroids, natural pyrethrins (usually with
      piperonyl butoxide), organophosphates, carbamates, essential oils, citrus
      extracts, diatomaceous earth, or borates applied to the environment...one of the
      least risky to the animal and the environment appears to be sodium polyborate,
      at least to the best of anyone's knowledge at this time. I'm not saying that we
      should be cavalier about choices, but if a caregiver plans to use a product
      beyond combing + vacuuming, every option is going to have some level of
      toxicity to some form of life (incl fleas)...and the best we can do is chose one that
      appears to pose the least risk to the most forms of life.

      << IGRs do seem to work well to control pest insects, but they are very
      dangerous for the environment. I read a study that showed even a very small
      amount in a body of water causes severe deformities in frogs, etc. >>

      The MSDS for methoprene (Precor) indicates LC50 for fish (depending on
      species) as about 370-760 ppb (parts per billion). For aquatic invertebrates the
      LC50 is about 360 ppb.

      << Rosemary said:
      For outdoors, there are beneficial nematodes that prey on pests and will
      remain in an environment as long as there are pest hosts. Steinernema
      carpocapsae is the
      species that preys on fleas. Both IGRs and beneficial nematodes can be
      applied with
      a hand-held sprayer.
      **************************

      Again, using IGRs outside is dangerous for many species in the environment.
      >>

      Which is why I suggested using beneficial nematodes outdoors instead of an
      IGR.

      << Parasite Dust sounds interesting. Have you used it with good results? >>

      I used it extremely sparingly...on a severely infested kitten...until the
      combing + vacuuming + IGR (indoors) could kick in. He is now flea-free...and
      there were no adverse effects as best we can determine. // Rosemary
    • howdeeeyall@aol.com
      ***Rosemary, sorry--I don t remember what I read about borate toxicity to cats. I wrote that I was considering using borates to kill flea larvae, and someone
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 3, 2006
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        ***Rosemary, sorry--I don't remember what I read about borate toxicity to
        cats. I wrote that I was considering using borates to kill flea larvae, and
        someone wrote back that borates are rather toxic to cats. I thought it was on
        this list, but I've been very tired and spaced out. It might have been
        elsewhere.

        I had bought a container of "Flea Busters" powder, and the cautions are:
        keep pets out of room, close door, spread powder sparingly, avoid getting dust
        into air, don't inhale it, work it into carpet very well, and you MUST vacuum
        up all loose powder. Haven't used it yet. I always thought borates were
        one of the safest pesticides for use in the home, along with DE, when used with
        caution.


        So if the choices of flea-control options include synthetic neurotoxins
        applied to an animal...or synthetic pyrethroids, natural pyrethrins (usually with
        piperonyl butoxide), organophosphates, carbamates, essential oils, citrus
        extracts, diatomaceous earth, or borates applied to the environment...one of
        the least risky to the animal and the environment appears to be sodium
        polyborate, at least to the best of anyone's knowledge at this time. I'm not saying
        that we should be cavalier about choices, but if a caregiver plans to use a
        product beyond combing + vacuuming, every option is going to have some level
        of toxicity to some form of life (incl fleas)...and the best we can do is
        chose one that appears to pose the least risk to the most forms of life.
        ***Yes, I agree; that's why I bought Fleabusters. Of course, DE is another
        nontoxic choice, though it won't kill off flea larvae/pupae. But it will
        work well in combination with vacuuming/combing.



        The MSDS for methoprene (Precor) indicates LC50 for fish (depending on
        species) as about 370-760 ppb (parts per billion). For aquatic invertebrates the
        LC50 is about 360 ppb.

        ***Here's one of many webpages on the dangers of Methoprene. It is not so
        toxic in itself, but it readily breaks down into more toxic substances, when
        exposed to sunlight. That's why it's dangerous to use outside, or to get it
        into bodies of water. It is highly toxic to amphibians, fish, and aquatic
        invertebrates (see comment about shrimp in second paragraph below). Considering
        the rapid decline and extinction of frogs worldwide, we should not use IGRs
        outside. Note that toxicity to humans has not been well tested, either.

        _http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/programs/health-environment/pesticides/meth
        oprene-fact-sheet.shtml_
        (http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/programs/health-environment/pesticides/methoprene-fact-sheet.shtml)

        "Conversely, the potential effects of methoprene on amphibian populations
        are alarming. Frogs, toads, and salamanders, in particular, have displayed
        severe developmental effects in response to methoprene exposure. For example,
        agricultural methoprene use has been linked to a massive rise in the incidence
        of frog limb deformities across North America (Oulette 1997). Such
        malformations, including extra or missing limbs, are often caused by exposure to a
        family of chemical agents called retinoids (Conlan 1996). While methoprene does
        not contain any retinoids, one of its breakdown products (methoprene acid)
        imitates one by binding to and activating a retinoic acid cell receptor (La Clair
        et al. 1998). Given that the global frog population has plummeted by 40%
        since the 1950s, the ongoing large-scale application of methoprene to frog
        habitats, including standing water and riparian zones, cannot be ignored (Houlahan
        et al. 2000).

        "Methoprene is highly toxic to fish and marine and estuarine invertebrates.
        For example, the lethal concentration required to kill half of a fresh water
        shrimp population (LC50) is 0.0001 parts per billion. Considering that a
        single general application of methoprene results in a concentration of 10 parts
        per billion, the toxicity risk is enormous (EXTOXNET 2001). While methoprene’s
        rapid degradation in unshaded water decreases its threat to freshwater fish,
        it is still considered to be moderately toxic to a range of fish species
        (NCAMP 2001).

        "Despite the fact that methoprene is considered to be of low toxicity to
        humans in general, it is important to note that comprehensive studies have not
        been done to determine the effects of long-term methoprene exposure on
        children. Such a knowledge gap is significant, considering that children are
        generally more susceptible to the health risks associated with pesticide use.
        Because they differ from adults in terms of size, weight, immunology, and
        behaviour, children must be considered separately when deciding whether methoprene is
        a safe general-use pesticide."



        << Rosemary said:
        Both IGRs and beneficial nematodes can be applied with
        a hand-held sprayer.
        **************************
        <<Judith said:
        Again, using IGRs outside is dangerous for many species in the environment.
        >>

        <<Rosemary said: Which is why I suggested using beneficial nematodes
        outdoors instead of an IGR.

        ***Sorry--I read your last sentence as implying that it's good to use IGRs
        outside.

        ***We need our frogs and toads! Some species in rain forests have already
        gone extinct, in a space of a few years.

        Judith


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • savionna@aol.com
        Hi Judith, In a message dated 2/3/06 1:32:33 PM, Howdeeeyall writes:
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 3, 2006
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          Hi Judith,

          In a message dated 2/3/06 1:32:33 PM, Howdeeeyall writes:

          << I don't remember what I read about borate toxicity to cats. >>

          If you ever run across it again, I'd love to see it.

          << I had bought a container of "Flea Busters" powder, and the cautions are:
          keep pets out of room, close door, spread powder sparingly, avoid getting
          dust into air, don't inhale it, work it into carpet very well, and you MUST
          vacuum up all loose powder. Haven't used it yet. I always thought borates were
          one of the safest pesticides for use in the home, along with DE, when used
          with caution. >>

          "When used with caution" is the key. The same cautions pertain to applying
          DE, b/c you (and the cats) don't want to be inhaling large amts of the loose
          dust during application. And since the cat's nose is generally a few inches from
          the floor, the dust becomes even more significant.


          << Note that toxicity to humans has not been well tested, either. >>

          That's the problem with nearly everything we manufacture. We just don't know
          how toxic it is to any form of life...short or long term. So, unfortunately,
          we have to pick our poisons (when we are considering using a poison at all),
          which is not a humane or environmentally responsible position to be in. But the
          good news is that caregivers are now talking about options and
          consequences...rather than just slinging a carbaryl flea collar around the cat's neck without
          a thought, as was done 10 yrs ago. // Rosemary
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