Project on rodent poisons
Rodenticides are chemical substances that are used to control harmful rodents such as mice and rats. They are usually applied as baits that contain active substances that inhibit blood clotting: These substances are also called anticoagulants. These anticoagulants are highly toxic for humans and animals, poorly degradable in the environment and can accumulate in organisms. The substances therefore potentially pose a high risk for predators feeding on rodents such as birds of prey and foxes. So far, there are no data on the exposure situation in Switzerland regarding anticoagulants. Since there is also a high risk for children and non-target animals, which can accidentally swallow the baits, the substances are mainly used by professional pest controllers, for example in sewers and in agriculture. In a new project, the Ecotox Centre is collects data on the use of anticoagulants in Switzerland. It also establishes an analytical method to detect the substances in water and in organisms. The method will then be used to roughly estimate the environmental impact of anticoagulants in Switzerland. The study was commissioned by the Federal Office for the Environment.