Twenty-five-year-old Elizabeth Whitfield’s mobile home is still infested with insects but her 10-month-old baby is dead, her 2-year-old son was critically injured, and she had to be re-admitted to the emergency room yesterday with breathing problems after using a “fogger” type pesticide repeatedly in her home.
The bug spray seems to have had no effect on the roaches, which are still running around unchecked. Because they were not being killed, Whitfield used more and more foggers – a total of seven – in a short time period. Normally, you would use one a month or every other month. She was using two or three per week. The fumes were so bad that a hazardous materials team had to be called in before investigators could enter the house.
Instructions for the spray say to protect all furnishings, leave the area for four hours during the application, and open all windows and doors to air out the home for an hour before returning. The fogger works by releasing an oily residue of bug-killing chemicals over a 6,000 cubic foot area. Whitfield was so coated with these chemicals when she first arrived in the hospital that that she had to remove all her clothes and wash herself down in the shower.
It’s unclear whether the family was present in the home during the fogger applications. Nonetheless, the buildup of fumes was strong enough to kill humans without harming any bugs, who may have become resistant to the pesticide. If there is anyone out there who questions whether pesticides are harmful to humans, here is a tragic example of just how toxic they are. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the 2-year-old struggling for his life and to Whitfield herself. Both will have to deal with the effects of pesticide poisoning and we hope that they do not develop the debilitating condition known as chemical sensitivity which pesticide poisoning has caused in some people in the past. read full story