Answers On Effects of Fipronil-Treated Trophies
By Tim Jones, Managing Editor
Questions about the effects of fipronil-treated trophies continue pouring into our offices here at The Hunting Report, and we're happy to say, we have answers. You'll recall our recent reports about trophies allegedly treated with this insecticide by Miller Trophy Room and the federal indictment of one of their former employees in relation to that. (See our April and May stories.) Answers about toxicity and side effects were tough to get from the US Attorney and the National Pesticide Information Center. Fortunately, BASF, the company that originally manufactured the Termidor® products (Termidor is a registered trade name for Fipronil), takes product stewardship very seriously and was more than willing to answer questions for us. These answers were provided by Dr. Andrew J. Goetz, who handles Regulatory Technical, Stewardship and Sustainability for the BASF Corporation in North America:
HR: First of all, we want to thank you and BASF for helping our readers sort out what the potential risks are regarding trophies treated with Termidor/fipronil in their homes.
Goetz: The use of Termidor products on animal trophies is illegal and a violation of federal law. Animal trophies must not be treated with Termidor products. BASF is aware of some illegal treatment of animal trophies and would like to provide some guidance to affected parties.
HR: One question our subscribers have repeatedly asked is: Does Termidor/fipronil present any indoor air contamination concerns?
Goetz: No, fipronil is non-volatile and will not contaminate indoor air.
HR: Can trophies be tested to determine if they have been treated with Termidor/fipronil?
Goetz: Yes, any animal trophy suspected of being treated can be analyzed for fipronil residues. The analysis of the animal trophy will not result in damage to the trophy. Contact your state pesticide office to inquire about having the analysis conducted.
HR: If an animal trophy has been treated, what should our subscribers do?
Goetz: With Fipronil, as with any pesticide, the dose makes the poison. The single most important precaution is to limit the contact of the animal trophy to human skin. If the trophy must be moved, use chemical resistant gloves when handling the trophy and wash gloves when done. If an animal rug has been treated, remove rug from floor and mount in an area that will reduce/limit human contact.
HR: Can a trophy be cleaned to remove the Termidor/fipronil residues?
Goetz: Strong bases such as chlorine bleach will hydrolyze Termidor to inactive products. A 10 percent solution of household bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite) can be used to degrade fipronil. The final concentration of sodium hypochlorite should be in the range of 0.5% to 1.0%. However, cleaning with a bleach solution may cause damage, so BASF does not recommend using it on the animal trophy.
If your readers have additional questions, they can email the questions to BASF-Product-Stewardship@BASF.com.