Mouse bait suspected poisoning in western NSW, EPA offers clean-up help

Mouse bait containing zinc phosphide. Photo contributed.
Mouse bait containing zinc phosphide. Photo contributed.

Authorities have repeated warnings and offered clean-up help in the wake of recent suspected poisoning in western NSW from mouse bait not designed for use in homes.

Earlier this month the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) reported of "several recent poisonings" from a product containing zinc phosphide, which it said resulted in hospitalisations in Western NSW Local Health District.

The EPA has set up a removal program, and this week offered help to safely remove and dispose of the bait, which it reports has the potential to pose a serious risk to anyone who is exposed to it, but especially to children.

It is urging residents who have used agricultural bait containing zinc phosphide in domestic settings to contact its 24-hour environment line for advice and to register for free removal and disposal.

The Enviro Line number on 131 555.

EPA regulatory operations executive director Carmen Dwyer said the EPA was aware residents may have used products not meant for domestic settings, or mouse baits without the original packaging and safe handling instructions.

"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."

"If residents think they have used these zinc phosphide baits in the home we urge them to contact 131 555 to get advice."

A health department spokeswoman on Tuesday said there had been one hospitalisation but declined to identify the hospital involved.

The person had since been discharged, she said.

Symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fever, cough, shortness of breath and chest tightness.

Anyone suffering from symptoms is advised to contact Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.

This story EPA issues mouse bait warning after poisoning first appeared on Daily Liberal.