November 19, 2008

Insect foggers linked to illnesses

Health officials in Washington state say dozens of illnesses and injuries due to exposure to bug bombs have been reported since 2005.

The Department of Health issued a public warning last month, saying many people aren't aware the products can be a health risk.

Health officials said the most common mistakes consumers make include using too many foggers in an area, not following directions on re-entry and ventilation and leaving foggers in reach of young children.

The Department of Health said 47 people sought medical attention from illnesses and injuries associated with bug bombs between 2005 and 2007. The death of a 10-month-old baby was ruled as suspicious after the infant was exposed to fumes from insect foggers. The exact cause of death was not determined, the agency said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported on 466 fogger exposures from eight states. The report said 20 percent of the people had moderate to severe symptoms that required medical attention. More than 20 people were hospitalized for longer than one day.