NACWA Asks EPA to Consider Environmental Impacts of Pet Flea Treatments

(February 19, 2020) – NACWA asked EPA to consider aquatic impacts of pet flea shampoos and treatments that contain pyrethroid and pyrethrin chemicals.  

The Association’s February 12 comments on EPA’s Ecological Risk Mitigation Proposal for these pesticides explained that publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) cannot control domestic use of pesticides, but many pesticides pass through the treatment process and are discharged into the environment. EPA’s risk mitigation and product labeling instructions are therefore a vital part of ensuring appropriate use and disposal of pesticide. 

In its comments, NACWA supported EPA’s proposed improvements to product labeling, with a logo and instructions to show that excess product should not be disposed of down the drain.  NACWA asked that EPA end the use of two chemicals – bifenthrin and permethrin – in pet shampoos due to their high toxicity and availability of less toxic substitutes. NACWA also asked that unnecessary use of pyrethroids and pyrethrins in pet flea treatments be eliminated. 

NACWA supported the comments of the Bay Area Clean Water Agencies (BACWA), which has been advocating for improved consideration of pesticide impacts to POTWs.  NACWA will continue to work with BACWA to address this issue. NACWA members with questions or information about pesticide impacts should contact Cynthia Finley, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs.