- Zinc phosphide is not designed for residential use
- Follows suspected cases of zinc phosphide poisonings
The New South Wales Environmental Protection Authority has said it will assist all residents whose houses feature a commercial house bait that poses a serious risk to anybody exposed to it.
The mouse bait can release fumes that can poison those exposed to it, especially children and pets.
The EPA is calling for all residents who have agricultural bait containing zinc phosphide in their homes to immediately contact the 24-hour Environment Line.
Advice will be provided, as well as the option to register for free removal and disposal.
The program was conceived after several suspected zinc phosphide poisoning hospitalisations occurred within the Western NSW Local Health District, which is believed to be caused by the mouse bait.
The phosphine gases can cause poisoning or suffocation in enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces.
Mouse baits of this type are not designed for residential use, including house yards.
Carmen Dwyer, EPA Executive Director Regulatory Operations, said some residents may have unknowingly used products due to not seeing original packaging or not following safe handling instructions.
“In some cases, the product may already have been eaten by mice but if there is any leftover product please ring the EPA for free support and advice,” said Ms Dwyer.
“The EPA is offering to arrange a free service by a licensed pest technician to remove this mouse bait and clean the area to ensure your home is safe. We don’t want residents disturbing bait if it has been placed in ceiling cavities. It is safer to leave it and ask for assistance, than disturb it.”
She has reminded all residents to check baits to assess their suitability within a residential setting.
“Please ensure you do not use commercial or agricultural products in a domestic setting…There are products that can be used in homes and it is important to ensure you are using the correct bait,”
“Always follow the instructions on the label carefully. These products must be used responsibly to ensure your family is kept safe.”
For more information, contact the EPA’s Environment Line on 131 555.