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November 12, 1997

Poisonings Associated With Illegal Use of Aldicarb as a Rodenticide—New York City, 1994-1997

JAMA. 1997;278(18):1487. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550180037018

ALTHOUGH rodenticides historically have been among the most toxic substances available to the public and have been implicated as agents in both unintentional and suicidal exposures, the anticoagulant agents currently in use, such as coumadin and their long-acting derivatives (e.g., brodifacoum), are relatively safe. In 1995, most persons who reported exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides did not develop symptoms or require specific therapy. However, during 1994-1997, the New York City Poison Control Center (NYCPCC) was consulted about 25 patients, primarily persons who had emigrated from the Dominican Republic, who had manifestations consistent with the cholinergic toxidrome, which is not characteristic of poisoning by the anticoagulant rodenticides, after ingesting a rodenticide known as Tres Pasitos ("Three Little Steps"). In each case, the product had been purchased at a neighborhood store for use as a household rodenticide. The Environmental Investigation Unit of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC)