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Rat poison: only use products authorised in France

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News of 29/11/2021

Two young children have died after accidentally swallowing a rat poison banned in France. ANSES wishes to warn consumers of the danger of these products and to reiterate its recommendations for avoiding accidents.

At issue: the presence of a substance that is banned in France

In early 2021, the Poison Control Centres reported the death of two young children who had swallowed food impregnated with rat poison. Manufactured in China, this product was smuggled into French Guiana and brought back to France. It contained sodium monofluoroacetate, a substance banned in France owing to its acute toxicity: swallowing even a small amount can kill an adult and, even more easily, a child. In French Guiana, over the period 2017-2021, 32 cases of poisoning caused by a product with the same packaging were reported to the Poison Control Centres. Most concerned young children.

Accidents have already occurred

This is not the first time that deaths have been caused by banned products. A few years ago, two young children and a young woman inhaled the fumes of a banned product, CELPHOS®, after it had been applied in their bedroom to control bedbugs. One of the children died as a result. The product in question, which had been illegally imported, had been purchased on a French market.

Our recommendations to avoid accidents

  • Only buy products through conventional channels (supermarkets, specialised shops, etc.),
  • Keep these products out of the reach of children,
  • Buy products with instructions written in French,
  • Call in specialised companies (rodent control companies etc.) if pest treatments do not work,
  • Follow the conditions of use on the packaging.