Louiville, GA, United States (4E) – Georgia’s Jefferson County fire chief cautioned the public to be careful in using insecticide at home after a 58-year old woman from Waddle died and her son was hospitalized after inhaling toxic fumes from an agricultural insecticide.
Louisville fire chief Lamar Baxley said a family member of the victim, Rosa Gilmore Green, dispersed Fumitoxin tablets inside and under their home in the 600 block of North Martin Luther King Boulevard to kill insects last week.
Green’s visiting son found his mother ill and somewhat paralyzed and took her and three children with her to his home on Farm Street. When her condition worsened, the son called 911 and the victim and the children were taken to the Jefferson County Hospital.
Green was declared dead and the 12-year-old grandson remains hospitalized. The son’s two daughters, aged 11 and 14, were also brought to the hospital as a precaution but they were released later.
The hospital was closed to decontaminate staffs, responders and the facility itself from harmful gas.
“It’s very, very important that whatever you use, read the label use it the way its supposed to be used and use extreme caution with it,” Baxley said, according to WFXG.
The Fumitoxin tablet emitted phosphine gas after exposure to moisture. The pesticide is intended for killing weevils, mice and insects that destroy stored crops. It is usually placed in grain storage to kill any mammal inside the room. Its label warns against use inside homes or buildings occupied by humans.
Green’s autopsy and toxicology report will take a couple of weeks to be completed. In the meantime, her grandson, who lives with her, was admitted to the Georgia Regents Medical Center. The condition of the child remains unknown.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine said Fumitoxin or aluminum phosphide (AIP) is a cheap and commonly used pesticide and the most common causes of agricultural pesticide poisoning.
“The toxicity of AlP particularly affects the cardiac and vascular tissues, which manifest as profound and refractory hypotension, congestive heart failure and electrocardiographic abnormalities,” an article from the Journal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock said.
Pesticide poisoning has become a global public health concern since it accounted for one-third of the world’s suicide incidents. Around 300,000 deaths in the world are also attributed to pesticide poisoning. There is also a risk that AIP can be used for chemical terrorism.
A number of all-natural pesticides are now in the market to provide safer and environment-friendly alternatives to chemical pesticides and insecticides. One of them is Nature-Cide, which is made from essential oils. Nature-Cide sprays are completely safe for use at home where there are children and pets.
It is completely “chemical and poison free” and comes in different variants that address particular pest problems – from bed bugs to rodents and reptiles.
Nature-Cide have a pleasant smell but have a different effect on insects. Insects are killed after the oil enters the body and disables its natural defense mechanism before disrupting the pest’s nervous system, causing paralysis and death. Rodents and reptiles are repelled by the smell.
Nature-Cide’s products are currently sold online through the website of its maker, Pacific Shore Holdings, Inc.’s (PSHR). The product comes in 32-ounce spray bottles that are best used for bed bugs, fleas and ticks, indoor and outdoor pests.