There's a good reason flea collars come with warnings front and center. Thinking about purchasing a flea collar for your canine companion? You might want to think again. In a move advocates are calling “an enormous setback,” the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has rules that pet product manufacturers can continue to use tetrachlovinphos, a harmful neurotoxin, in flea control products. A petition was filed asking the EPA to ban all products containing TCVP, but the EPA has declined to act. According to Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the decision threatens the health of not just animals, but the children who share homes with them: “Brain and nervous system-harming chemicals, like TCVP, are too dangerous to have in our homes, on our pets, and around our kids. Allowing them to stay on the market based on shoddy assessments is irresponsible. Families shouldn’t have to worry about the products available at their local pet store. EPA’s failure to protect kids is unacceptable.” The original lawsuit, filed in February 2014, demanded that the EPA reexamine flea products containing TCVP and Propoxur, both dangerous neurotoxins. While the EPA did rule that Propoxur should be discontinued from use in pet products, it did not choose to address TCVP and other hazardous chemicals. Recent studies have shown that unsafe levels of drugs and other chemicals remain on pets after flea collars are used with high enough concentrations to pose a serious risk to a child’s neurological development. According to the petition, the EPA is dramatically underestimating the risk of contamination: “In both the TCVP and Propoxurpetitions, NRDC claims that residential exposures may be significantly higher than estimated by EPA through common daily activities between children and pets.” Pet owners are advised to speak with pet professionals in order to avoid these hazardous products. Since the EPA is not preventing their sale or demanding new standards, the onus is on the pet owner to ensure the products their pet uses are not potentially harmful.