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Sergeants, Hartz Brands Called Out in Lawsuit Against Approval of Dangerous Pet Flea & Tick Collars

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Today, NRDC filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) challenging the agency’s decision to allow the continued use of a highly toxic pesticide called tetrachlovinphos (TCVP) in flea control products used on pets. Due to concerns that pesticides like TCVP can harm children’s brains and nervous systems, the agency has already restricted household use of TCVP’s chemical cousins in the class of pesticides called organophosphates. But EPA continues to allow neurotoxic TCVP to be used in flea collars for dogs and cats, which puts kids at risk. NRDC’s lawsuit follows EPA’s recent denial of NRDC’s 2009 petition seeking to cancel all pet uses of TCVP because of the health risks to children.

Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), issued the following statement:

“Over five years have passed since we first urged EPA to get these toxic chemical collars off the market for good, but the agency continues to fall back on faulty assessments that don’t reflect the true vulnerability of children. Science shows, time and again, that brain and nervous system-damaging chemicals like TCVP are too harmful to have in our homes, on our pets and around our children.

“NRDC’s lawsuit simply asks the Court to send EPA back to do the job it should have done long ago – remove neurotoxic TCVP from our store shelves permanently. EPA’s blatant disregard for protecting our children’s health from toxic flea collars is irresponsible and unacceptable.”

In light of EPA’s failure to protect kids, pet-loving families will need to watch out for toxic pet products on the shelves. NRDC’s Green Paws guide can help pet owners choose safer options, and pet stores like PetCo and PetSmart can protect their customers by ensuring the safety of the products they sell.


In February 2014, NRDC filed a lawsuit in federal court against the EPA seeking the agency to respond to NRDC’s petitions to cancel all manufacturer registrations and uses of neurotoxic pesticides propoxur and tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP), frequently found in popular pet flea treatment products. Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc. Wellmark International and Hartz were among flea collars brands that NRDC called out for use of these hazardous chemicals.

Spurred by NRDC’s 2009 petition and 2014 lawsuit filing, in March 2014, EPA announced an agreement with Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc. and Wellmark International to cancel the use of the pesticide propoxur in flea collars as a result of an assessment finding risks to the brain and nervous systems of kids – but did not address related uses of other dangerous chemicals including TCVP, until EPA’s recent denial of NRDC’s 2009 petition seeking to cancel all pet uses of the toxic chemical TCVP in November 2014.

Prior to NRDC’s February 2014 lawsuit filing, EPA failed to respond to NRDC petitions seeking a ban on these two chemicals for nearly a decade. NRDC first petitioned EPA to cancel propoxur uses in pet collars in 2007. For TCVP, NRDC filed a petition in April 2009 to cancel all pet uses of TCVP based on research and the findings in its Poison on Pets II report, which found unsafe levels of pesticide residues on dogs and cats after a flea collar is used. Residue levels detected in this study were found to be high enough to pose serious risks to the neurological system of children at levels that greatly exceed EPA’s acceptable levels.

For more information on EPA’s response and safe methods of pet flea control, see these related links:

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  1. Avatar Of .



    So we don’t like TCVP because it harms CHILDREN??? We’re worrying about children when the product is harmful to pets and FOR pets? The fact that its harmful to children should be a by product, not the primary concern

  2. Avatar Of Kenneth Phillips

    kenneth phillips


    I got a Sargent flea collar for my dog and he was acting strange so I took it off and put it back on a little while later. Then he couldn’t sit still he was jumping and scratching and crying I took it off and took him and gave him a bath stayed up with him all night waiting for the vet to open 4 prescriptions and he’s still not right it just happen today I know the medicine needs time to work. My question is why can they still sell this crap that is killing animals we need to sue I would love to start a class action lawsuit.

  3. Avatar Of Joyce



    I used Hartz Ultra Guard Flea and Tick shampoo on my Cocker Jack in Oct 2013 in within 24 hrs. he could not see. I blame this all on this product and could never get and help or answers from the Company. My Jack would need to have surgery on his eyes to have it fixed and the cost would be close to $2,000.00. I don’t know what I can do have them pay for what there product did to my Dog! Does anyone have any suggestions ( I saved the bottle)

  4. Avatar Of Ann L Wilson ann l wilson says:

    everyone of us, EVERY ONE of us should be terrified of the chemicals (GMO) WE ingest on a daily basis thanks to MONSANTO. The NRDC’s attempt to get the EPA to ban the use of neurotoxic TCVP in pet products on our shelves, was overlooked and the only poison the EPA addressed was Propoxur. The EPA’s “blatant disregard for protecting our children’s (AND pet’s) health from toxic flea collars is irresponsible and unacceptable” but not at all surprising. If the EPA & the FDA allows Monsanto to poison us, why should they worry about our animal’s flea products and how they affect our children?

    • Avatar Of Nina



      Ann Wilson, thank you for your comment. I completely agree with you ! It is horrific, inhumane, unbelievable.. I have no words for it anymore, about what they are doing to us. FDA and EPA are suppose to protect us, and instead they are poisoning us !

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