Home Termite Fumigation Causes Boy Brain Damage- Should You Be Worried? -Yes

In Florida, a criminal investigation has been opened against a pest control company called Sunland; a subcontractor of Terminix, after a 10 year-old boy is poisoned and suffers debilitating brain damage. 

On August 14, little Peyton McCaughey and his family returned to their Florida home at the date and time specified by Sunland, the company who had been hired to fumigate their home for termites.  The family was told it was safe but it wasn’t and they immediately began feeling ill.

A family member told CNN that that everyone was vomiting but Peyton’s symptoms were the worst of all.  He was having trouble standing and speaking.  After a doctor determined that the families poisoning was definitively due to the fumigation, Peyton’s parents, Lori and Carl and their 7 year-old daughter were monitored and began to recover but Peyton’s condition continued to worsen over the next two weeks.

While the family says that some of his normal demeanor and cognitive skills have returned he has lost all motor function in his left arm and leg and he can’t speak the way that he wants.  “He’s got his personality; he will still smile and still laugh, but he can’t get the words out that he wants to say and can’t move the way he wants to move, and the frustration sets in,” Peyton’s uncle says.

Sulfuryl Fluoride- A “restricted use pesticide” to blame

The gas fumigant, sulfuryl fluoride, was the ‘restricted use pesticide’ used to fumigate the McCaughey home. The fumigant was believed to be responsible for the aggressive poisoning that left Peyton brain damaged.  The Department of Justice (DOJ) has opened a criminal case and Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services (FDACS) in corroboration with the EPA and the Florida State Department of Health, said that it too would cooperate with and collaborate on the DOJ’s investigation.  The FDACS has issued a ‘Stop Work Order’ prohibiting Sunland Pest Control from conducting any fumigations until the further notice.

This is the second time this year that Terminix has been under fire for using fumigation methods that left people injured.  The Esmonds, a Delaware family of five, fell ill in the U.S. Virgin Islands after significant exposure to methyl bromide. It was later uncovered that Terminix had fumigated their resort villa prior to their stay with the substance which is also a ‘restricted use’ poison.  Methyl Bromide is not permitted for indoor use in the United States, and a local and federal investigation is still underway.  In this case, the family’s two sons are experiencing much of the same tragic and telltale symptoms of brain damage, specifically loss of motor control, and neurological deterioration.

Fumigation chemical exposure symptoms

The following list of symptoms, which might indicate fumigation poisoning, are from DoItYourSelf.com.   Please visit this site for a full list of preparedness tips to help you and your family stay safe.

Over-exposure to fumigation gases during and after fumigation can result in such symptoms as nausea, headaches, coughing, breathing difficulties, double vision, dizziness, and fatigue. People who have been exposed to these gases and who experience any of these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

The use of pesticides in, or around your home, is not to be taken lightly.  As you can see from these heart-wrenching stories, these poisons pose an insidious threat to you, your family, and your pets.

Choosing a pest control service

When choosing a pest control service look for reviews and complaints across the web.  Check with your local Department of Agriculture to ensure the service is insured and properly licensed for the specific type of pest removal they are to perform on your property.  Find out what pesticides will be used and research those chemicals to see if they are approved for use in the U.S. as well as whether they are for indoor or outdoor properties.  Never assume that they’re doing their job right.  Ask the pest control service about how it accurately measures and regulates the different strengths (potency) of the pesticides it uses and if those methods meet state and federal regulations.  The potency of chemicals used can determine how long they remain dangerous and linger on a property.  If measurement methods are not accurate than the normal 30-48 hour window is void as the home may still be toxic.

If you or anyone you know has experienced injury, traumatic brain injury, neurological, or otherwise as a result of a fumigation performed by a pest control service, let the dangerous drug and product attorneys at Rocky McElhaney Law Firm fight for you.  We have the industry reputation, the resources to hire the necessary experts, and the raw legal talent to go up against the big insurance companies and corporations to battle for the justice you and your family deserve for your injuries.  Call (615) 425-2500 for a free and discreet consultation.