An incident that occurred in South Florida in August is being covered broadly by national and local news media. A Florida family fell ill shortly after a company performed a fumigation service at their Palm City home, reportedly treating for termites. Several weeks later, the 10-year old boy in the family is still receiving rehabilitation services while the rest of the family has recovered. The family has retained legal counsel and is now speaking with the media.
The professional pest management industry is deeply committed to the protection of public health and property from the dangers of pest infestations and the products used to prevent and address these infestations are critical tools in our industry's mission. All pest products used by the industry are reviewed and registered by the EPA and applicators employed by our member companies are trained to comply with EPA and state pesticide regulations.
In the United States, no other group of chemicals used by our industry are more thoroughly regulated than fumigants, whose production, distribution and use patterns are carefully scrutinized by the EPA and state pesticide regulatory agencies. Sulfuryl flouride is an essential product in the protection of food products and is commonly used on a variety of commodities in addition to being used to control damaging wood destroying pests such as drywood termites.
We are unable to speculate on the treatment methods used or the circumstances of this particular case.
All products used for the treatment of structural pest infestations - for which NPMA members are responsible - are studied, reviewed and registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be used by trained and regulated pest management applicators.
The structural pest management industry works closely with the EPA to ensure that all products used in pest management practices are consistently evaluated, reviewed, and contain accurate and comprehensive mandatory directions for use.
In the U.S., sulfuryl flouride is used in the protection of food products, commodities and structures. Treatment may involve the fumigation, for example, of containers, warehouses and food processing facilities, boats and structures for insects and rodents.
It is important to remember that leaving pests unmanaged can lead to negative impacts on human health and damage to structures.
NPMA encourages consumers to consult with a qualified and licensed pest control professional to discuss any concerns about pest management and address the proactive and preventative measures that they can take to avoid pest infestations.