Bittering Bill Keeps Dogs Safe From Antifreeze

N.J. legislation would require an additive to change the taste and no longer attract cats and dogs to the fluid.

Posted: May 27, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT

A New Jersey antifreeze-bittering bill that would require an additive to mask the sweet taste of the product sold in the state intends to lower the risk of poisonings and deaths in pets and children. Most major antifreeze brands contain ethylene glycol, a deadly toxin.
Senate Bill 979 calls for a bittering agent, denatonium benzoate, to be added to antifreeze containing more than 10 percent ethylene glycol. The additive would change the taste and no longer attract cats and dogs to the fluid.

The Veterinary School at Washington State University estimates the annual number of cat and dog antifreeze poisonings at 10,000. From those 10,000 cases, the majority result in death if animals aren’t treated immediately.

In most incidents, pets are exposed to antifreeze when a car leaks the fluid. For example, a cat might walk over a puddle of antifreeze then lick its paws. It’s also used to intentionally poison animals, including feral cats.

According to statistics compiled by the American Association of Poison Control Centers, approximately 1,400 children ingest antifreeze each year. Countries that have already adopted the addition of a denatonium benzoate additive include Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

During the past 15 years in the United States, similar legislation has been approved in Oregon, California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Maine.


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Pat   San Angelo, TX

5/27/2008 11:59:49 PM

Thank goodness! I hope more states enact this legislation. Even when people are careful, sometimes the pets ingest antifreeze from leaks and no one knows until it is too late.

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Patty   Youngstown, OH

5/27/2008 6:01:50 PM

I really think this should happen. Our pets need all the protection from poisons that they can get.

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Layton   Glendive, MT

5/27/2008 2:00:52 PM

Rat Poisin is another thing that kills pets right away. My dad was out in the garage and he took the dogs with them and they got into it. He took them in to the vet right away, but they almost died! Antifreeze they haven't got into yet, and i hope they dont! Good article and idea.

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Scott   La Crosse, WI

5/27/2008 8:49:08 AM

This is a no-brainer. Good that this state is doing it. Hopefully other states will soon follow suit.

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