Termites are a destructive species which threaten to unleash destruction in various forms in our lives. They secrete formic acid, a potent chemical capable of dissolving even the hardest of plastics. They are formidable house guests and termite colonies have the power to bring down an entire house. Termites damage homes and other wooden construction by eating the seasoned timber found in houses. Most prefer leaf litter and dead grass, others prefer the damp, rotting wood inside trees and logs. Many homeowners are also unaware that home insurance typically does not cover this type of damage which can often amount to tens of thousands of dollars in repairs. Although they can cause much destruction, termites are essential components of our eco-system and are essential to maintaining balance and harmony.
Many methods are adopted by local homeowners to deal with termite damage. The most popular amongst them being the use of toxic chemicals to kill the termites in the way of fumigation. Fumigation makes use of harmful chemicals to get rid of termites. This method is mostly used by homeowners who often do not realize that these chemicals apart from being toxic to termites are toxic to humans too! Prolonged repeated exposure to such harmful and toxic chemicals can cause irreparable damage to humans. Let us look at the below news article;
10-year-old hospitalized after termite fumigation
CNN)A 10-year-old boy is suffering from brain damage after a botched fumigation of his family’s Florida home, according to a family attorney.Peyton McCaughey and his family fell ill shortly after a Terminix subcontractor, Sunland Pest Control, sprayed their Palm City home for termites on August 14, family attorney Bill Williams said. The family was told it was safe to return to the home two days later on August 16, Williams said.The family immediately began feeling ill.The boy’s uncle, Ed Gribben, told CNN that everyone was vomiting, and Peyton’s condition was even worse.Gribben said Peyton had trouble standing and speaking, so the family took him to a local clinic where a doctor suspected poisoning from fumigation.The parents, Lori and Carl McCaughey, and their 7-year-old daughter recovered, but Peyton kept getting worse. After spending more than two weeks in three different children’s hospitals, he can barely speak, Williams said.The child, who loves Minecraft and is known for his witty personality and athletic talent, has lost 90% of his motor skills, Gribben said.He also lost function of his left arm and leg, Williams said.“He has traumatic brain injury and loss of motor skills,” Williams said. “The rest of the family is fine, thank God. The little boy is not fine.”Williams said CT scans show areas of concern in his brain.“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 frustration sets in,” Gribben said.A source with knowledge of the incident says the Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation.And the Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services announced Friday that it, too, “is investigating in collaboration with the (federal) EPA and the (state) Department of Health.”
“While our investigation is ongoing, we are issuing a Stop Work Order prohibiting (Sunland Pest Control) from conducting any fumigations at this time,” the agricultural and consumer services department said in a statement.
Sulfuryl fluoride, a gas fumigant, was the pesticide used to fumigate, sources told CNN.
Terminix gave this statement to CNN: “We were saddened to learn of this and our hearts are with the family. We are carefully reviewing the matter.”
Sunland Pest Control could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.Gribben set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the family so they can take time off of work while Peyton recovers.The family has not filed a lawsuit.This is the second time this year that Terminix has been involved in a fumigation that injured people.In March, a family vacationing on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, fell ill after a suspected pesticide exposure. Preliminary tests showed the presence of methyl bromide in villa where the family was staying. Methyl bromide is a substance that is not permitted in the United States for indoor use.The DOJ and Environmental Protection Agency are investigating.That family, from Delaware, continues to recover, but the father and two sons have lost much of their motor skills as well, according to a source close to the family.
The article highlights how the toxic pesticides used in fumigation techniques can have unseen but potentially life crippling effects on humans. The worst part is that this is not a random isolated incident. There are many more. In fact, with Terminix alone, this has happened for the second time within a span of 6 months!
The above incident highlights the need for use of safer methods to deal with termite damage. It also emphasizes the importance of using a product that is non-toxic and non-hazardous to humans. Termirepel™ is a coming of age product developed by C Tech Corporation in India which is non-toxic and non-hazardous. Termirepel™ works on the mechanism of repellence and aims at protection the applications from termite damage by repelling the termites. The product is RoHS and RoHS2 certified. It is excluded from FIFRA meaning it is not classified as a pesticide. Termirepel™ has paved the way for a new age solution which is non-toxic in nature to deal with the ever-looming termite threat!