Creepy crawlies belong outside, not in houses. People try many different methods to discourage bugs from entering their homes, whether it be a house or an apartment. There are many products one can use to kill bugs and keep them out of the home. But these products contain a lot of chemicals and can harm humans as much as bugs. And one needs to be cautious because these chemicals are highly flammable, as was shown in the fogger explosion in Chinatown recently.
Exploding Bug Bombs
A woman had a problem with bugs infesting her apartment. She purchased foggers, also known as bug bombs, to deal with the problem. Foggers release a fine mist of chemicals into the air that filter into walls and small places to kill bugs. “A single six-ounce can is enough to treat 6,000 cubic feet of space, which translates roughly to an 800-square-foot apartment with a seven-foot ceiling.”
The woman used about 20 foggers in the bedroom of her two-room apartment on one day. The next day she used another 20 foggers in her main room. “However, she failed to turn off her oven’s pilot light, and the meeting of the flame and the highly flammable contents set off a powerful explosion, fire officials said.” The explosion blew out the back wall of the building and collapsed part of the building.
Pesticide chemicals are highly poisonous and volatile. The Environmental Protection Agency published a Citizen’s Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety. The guide details how pesticides should be handled and applied. It also goes through precautions to prevent child poisoning.
There are a number of different types of pesticides. They tend to be grouped according to either the targeted pest or the chemical families they derive from. They can be solid form where the targeted insect eats the insecticide. There are sticky tapes used to physically trap insects, and there are liquid forms in spray cans and foggers.
Government statistics state that “every year there are about 500 fires or explosions linked to [foggers] across the country.” Foggers may appear easy to use, for a person can pull the tab and leave the residence, but many people are not using them correctly. Foggers do not work against bedbugs and are not the most effective defense against cockroaches. And once a person has set off a fogger, they must wait a number of hours before re-entering the residence and opening windows for proper ventilation. Without following these requirements, many people end up being poisoned.
Pesticides Can Lead to Legal Liability
While the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is a good axiom to follow when dealing with pest control, things can still go wrong. Just because you followed the instructions on the product doesn’t mean you can’t get poisoned and become ill. If you decide to go the professional route, you could still become ill. If you have been injured by use of pesticides and used them according to all instructions, there is a possibility the pesticide was not properly labeled. If you become ill after a professional treatment, the pesticide company may not have been following proper protocol or given proper instructions on what to do after the treatment was completed. If you have questions, contact our knowledgeable attorneys to assess your situation.
Photo Credit: Håkan Dahlström via Compfight cc
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