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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Phosphine' Category


05
Oct

Pittsburgh-Area Pesticide Poisoning: InTown Suites Residents Return After Rat Poison Incident

(Beyond Pesticides, October 5, 2023)  Residents of a Pittsburgh, PA-area extended-stay hotel were evacuated due to a contamination and poisoning incident caused by rat poison. The chemical involved in the incident has not yet been revealed, but officials say the rat poison, when exposed to water, releases the highly toxic phosphine gas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the gas is known to cause a range of symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, thirst, muscle pain, difficulty breathing, and the accumulation of fluid in the lungs. Higher exposures and prolonged exposure to phosphine can result in more severe health consequences. EPA has found that phosphine gas causes: Acute (short-term) inhalation exposure to phosphine may cause headaches, dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, burning substernal pain, nausea, vomiting, cough, labored breathing, chest tightness, pulmonary irritation, pulmonary edema, and tremors in humans.  Convulsions may ensue after an apparent recovery.  Chronic (long-term) occupational exposure of workers to phosphine may cause inflammation of the nasal cavity and throat, weakness, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal, cardiorespiratory, and central nervous system symptomology, jaundice, liver effects, and increased bone density. Deputy Police Chief Brian Kohlhepp of Ross Township explained to multiple media outlets that the hotel used […]

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10
May

Research Assesses Ability of Rodent Poisons to Act as a “Super-Predator” in Ecosystems

(Beyond Pesticides, May 10, 2018) Rodenticides like bromadiolone, used to kill vole populations on farms, act like “super-predators” that imperil ecosystem health, according to preliminary results published by researchers working for the European Union. “Controlling voles with bromadiolone reduces the amount of food available to predators and increases their risk of secondary poisoning when they eat the contaminated rodents,” project researcher Javier Fernandez de Simon, PhD, said in a press release. The study provides a model that may alleviate the impact of rodenticide use and provide a balance between on-farm pest management and sustainability. There are several types of rodenticides available on the market, including acute poisons like strychnine, fumigants like phosphine gas, and anti-coagulants such as warfarin and bromadiolone. Anti-coagulants, the focus of the present study, work by blocking the ability of the body to form blood clots. Animals exposed to bromodialone and other anti-coagulants experience ruptured blood vessels, hair loss and skin damage, nosebleeds, and bleeding gums prior to death. These pesticides are generally applied through secured bait boxes that only allow rodent pests to feed, however secondary poisoning is a common occurrence, leading researchers to dub these rodenticides, in effect, as “super-predators.” Rodents that ingest anti-coagulant pesticides […]

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08
Apr

EPA Sets New Restrictions on Phosphine Fumigants to Reduce Poisonings

(Beyond Pesticides, April 8, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requiring new restrictions on aluminum and magnesium phosphide products in an attempt to better protect people, especially children, from dangerous exposures. The new restrictions prohibit all uses of the products around residential areas and increase buffer zones for treatment around non-residential buildings that could be occupied by people or animals from 15 feet to 100 feet. Human exposure to these toxic chemicals, though slightly minimized, would nevertheless continue because of their continued availability for use on athletic fields and playgrounds, around non-residential buildings, and in agricultural production. Phosphide fumigants are known to be highly acutely toxic when ingested or inhaled. Symptoms of mild to moderate acute exposure include nausea, abdominal pain, tightness in chest, excitement, restlessness, agitation and chills. Symptoms of more severe exposure include diarrhea, cyanosis, difficulty breathing, pulmonary edema, respiratory failure, tachycardia (rapid pulse) and hypotension (low blood pressure), dizziness and/or death. Aluminum and magnesium phosphide fumigants are used primarily to control insects in stored grain and other agricultural commodities. They also are used to control burrowing rodents in outdoor agricultural and other non-domestic areas. The fumigants are restricted to use by specially trained pesticide applicators. […]

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