Organophosphates 2

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By Paula Bryan, Groomers

 Organophosphates and Carbamates are widely used for killing fleas, ticks and parasites on dogs, cats, horses and even your common garden plant. These chemicals are closely connected with flea treatments, sheep dip, nit shampoo for children and Gulf War Syndrome. Organophosphates were originally discovered by the Germans in the 1930’s for use in chemical warfare. By the end of the 1930’s German chemists had produced about 2,000 organophosphates, including Sarin (which was used as a nerve gas).

Insecticidal flea treatments can poison pets if they are used incorrectly or by accidental ingestion or inhalation. Precautions should be taken when using these products, even for the user.

Necessary precautions:

  1. Always keep away from eyes.
  2. Always use gloves and wash off any splashes.
  3. Keep away from food and drink.
  4. Replace lid after use.
  5. Keep away from children.
  6. Wash all utensils out afterwards.

Signs of toxicity include:

  1. Excess salivation.
  2. Muscle twitches.
  3. Seizures.
  4. Sickness.

As a company that is in the forefront of treating animals with skin complaints, Groomers of Newbury see a different case of skin disorder every day. The photograph above shows two West Highland White Terriers that were suffering with a severe skin complaint. It is quite noticeable that one of the Westies is smaller than the other, but on a visit to their Vet, a flea treatment was used and the same dose was given to both. Since this photograph Mrs Robins has lost both her dogs, Shannon and Lucy, to a skin complaint that may have been caused by overdosing, but no one will ever know now.

The future looks bright!

As more awareness is brought to peoples attention concerning Organophosphates, there are already alternatives available to you, the professional groomer.

Groomers of Newbury have been producing natural products since 1986. Ridasect natural flea shampoo is believed to be one of the totally non organophosphates flea treatments available today. The active ingredient, Triclor, is in the formulation at less than one per cent.

The shampoo repels fleas by inhalation, in other words it suffocates the flea. It is harmless to the user and the animal. It can be used on dogs, cats, rabbits and puppies over 9 weeks old. It can also be used to shampoo carpets and bedding.

So, next time you shampoo Mrs Smith’s little pooch, remember you could be putting yourself and the animal into a precarious situation.



The following comments are just a few views from our fellow groomers in the US. They know only too well, the dangers of using organophosphates.

"Dip Poisoning in a human is usually the result of a build-up of the chemicals in your body that don't EVER dissipate, that are present in so-called "safe" dips. In me I first noticed a horrible headache, had it for over 2 weeks... This was about 8-9 years ago, when fleas were rampant... I used Dursban dips for the dogs I was grooming then, and pyrethrum dips & shampoos for the cats. I had been dipping at least 1 and sometimes 3-5 dogs a day at the shop, & of course, I brought the fleas home to my animals. So on Sunday & Monday, my usual days off, I was dipping my pets... 6 dogs and 8 cats. I was in the process of shampooing the last cat, I felt weak & sick to my stomach... I passed out, came to in the hospital... I was on IV's, oxygen, and everyone wanted to know what I had eaten that day, as I had symptoms of poisoning. I hadn't eaten... Finally they put it together... I can never use any insecticide except synthetic, or dilemonene (sp) as it could kill me. This build up in my system will never go away, that is the nature of the chemicals in it. As groomers, you should all be aware of the dangers of this poisoning... I can't even spray for flies in my patio, or bees, or spray the cracks for spiders... The last time I was exposed to fly spray, approved for kitchen use, was about a month ago.. I must have thrown up about 20 times... It's still there! Please be careful, wear gloves & protective clothing... I didn't!"

 "I'm so sorry to hear about your overexposure to pesticides! I have the same problem, except I have grand mal seizures when exposed to ANY pesticides now. I used Dursban, pyrethrin shampoos and dips, flea sprays, etc. The seizures started after only grooming for 2 years (back in '89). They came about 2 or 3 times a week always at work. It took months before we figured out what was going on, and a year and a half before any doctor would even consider that pesticides were causing this. Some groomers get skin rashes or respiratory problems from pesticides - for me it was neurological. I am on Dilantin for the rest of my life because of misuse of the products. I did not wear gloves or mask while applying them and was NOT taught in grooming school the proper application of these toxic products. I have only myself to blame though - READ AND FOLLOW ALL PRODUCT LABELS AND INSTRUCTIONS before use. Better yet - don't use them!!"

 "War stories about dipping are so common. Any of us who have been around awhile have them. I can't use any common insecticides anymore either. Headaches, nausea, dizziness, disorientation, vertigo, numbness and hand tremors. No seizures, thank the gods. And I don't dip anymore. Used Malathion for years with no ventilation or skin protection. Bad, bad, bad. In many states now, it is not legal to use pesticides commercially unless someone in your facility has been trained, certified and licensed to use them through a state-approved program. Not a bad idea. At minimum, if you are using strong chemicals, VENTILATE the area, wear protective clothing, and get a filtration mask (one of those things that makes you look like some kind of weird bug). Please, please, please.... Your health is nothing to mess with, and we already abuse ourselves too much as it is. I've gone to only flea-shampooing with herbal based products that work very well."

 You can read more groomers views on this subject and others at www.groomers.net.



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Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of Northern Groomers.