Presentation on theme: "Utah Fumitoxin Investigation"— Presentation transcript:
1Utah Fumitoxin Investigation Clark BurgessUtah Department of Agriculture & Food
2Suspects Information Cole Nocks, pesticide applicator Bugman Pest and Lawn, Inc.Owner Raymond Wilson, Sr.Company has been in business since 19996 other pesticide applicators work for the CompanyCole Nocks became licensed in 2008
3Victims information Nathan & Brenda Toone family live in Layton, Utah 4 childrenCassidy, 10Braden, 7Rebecca, 4Rachel, 15 monthslive in Layton, Utah
4Emergency Personnel Involved Layton City Fire DepartmentUtah Poison Control CenterUtah National Guard, 85th Civil Support TeamDavis County Health DepartmentWee Care CenterPrimary Children’s Medical Center, Salt LakeDavis Hospital and Medical Center, Layton
5Investigating Agencies Utah Department of Agriculture & Food (UDAF)Utah Attorney Generals OfficeLayton City PoliceLayton City Attorney’s OfficeEPA , CivilEPA, CriminalUnited States Department of Justice
6Company InformationBugman Pest and Lawn was licensed as a Pesticide Business with UDAFAll applicators were licensed as Commercial pesticide applicators with UDAFThe applicator (Cole Nocks) did have a copy of the Pesticide Label and the Applicators Manual with him during the applicationMr. Nocks had read the label on the can, but only part of the Applicators ManualThe Company conducted training with their applicators once a month
7(Thursday) February 4, 2010Brenda Toone called Bugman Pest and Lawn because vole problems still existed after a previous application of Ramik Brown was made on the property
8(Friday) February 5, 2010Cole Nocks arrived at 8:30 am and treated 6-7 vole holes with 1.2 lbs of Fumitoxin pellets (according to his invoice)All but 1 of the treated holes were within 15 feet of the house with 1 application under the front step of the houseThe entire family was out of the house from 10:00 am to 2:05 pmWhen the family returned home at 2:05 pm the CO2 monitor was going off
9(Friday) February 5, 2010Mrs. Toone smelled a “strong pungent odor” in the garageAt 2:18 pm Mrs. Toone called Bugman Pest and Lawn and left a message worried about the odor (no return phone call was made by the Company). The Co. denies receiving a callAt 2:22 pm Mrs. Toone called Layton City Fire Department (FD) to report the CO2 monitor going offLayton City FD arrived on the scene and checked for CO2 leaks. Finding no CO2 readings on their devices the FD left the propertyMr. Toone arrived home at 4:00 pm
10(Saturday) February 6, 2010 The mother was gone from the house all day Everyone else in the family got sick (nausea and vomiting).At 7:45 pm the parents took Rebecca to the Wee Care Center in LaytonAt 7:52 pm Rebecca was transferred by ambulance to Davis Hospital and Medical Center in cardiopulmonary arrest. Resuscitative efforts were unsuccessful.At 8:35 pm 4-yr. old Rebecca Toone passed awayLayton City Police call the Poison Control Center at 11:59 pm to notify them of the incident
11(Sunday) February 7, 2010Rachel Toone, age 15 months, developed shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting and was taken to Primary Children’s Medical CenterRachel Toone was in critical condition and put on life supportRachel Toone was taken off of life support on Tuesday, February 9 and passed away shortly thereafter as a result of Phosphine exposure (according to the Medical Examiner)
13(Monday) February 8, 2010UDAF personnel heard about the incident Monday morning on the radio coming to workUDAF sent 2 inspectors to the sceneOn the scene already are the Utah National Guard, 85th Civil Support Team, Layton City Police, Layton City Fire Dept., Davis Co. Health Dept.Layton City Fire Dept and National Guard in full SCBA gear dig up the pellets from the front of the house
16(Monday) February 8, 2010National Guard took phosphine gas readings in throughout the house(17.8 to 25 ppm in area by front door)(5 to 25 ppm at top of stairs)(up to 48 ppm in garage)Pellets were put in a 55 gallon garbage can with water to destroy the productUDAF was allowed onto the premises Monday at 1:30 pm and allowed in the house at 5:30 pm
17Fumitoxin Label Information Restricted Use PesticideThis product must be accompanied by an approved label (1 page) and applicator’s manual (40 pages)Active Ingredient is Aluminum PhosphidePhosphine gas is a product of the reaction between Aluminum Phosphide and waterPhosphine gas is highly mobile and given enough time may penetrate seemingly gas-tight materials such as concrete and cinder block.If the structure is to be entered after fumigation, it must be aerated until the level of phosphine gas is 0.3 ppm or below.
18Fumitoxin Label Information At a minimum, the storage must be marked with the following signs and should be locked:Danger, Poison (with skull and crossbones)Authorized Personnel OnlyNational Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Hazard Identification Symbols for the pesticide.
19Fumigant Management Plan THIS PRODUCT MUST NOT BE APPLIED INTO A BURROW SYSTEM THAT IS WITHIN 15 FEET OF A BUILDING THAT IS, OR MAY BE, OCCUPIED BY HUMANS, AND/OR ANIMALS ESPECIALLY RESIDENCES. (page 32)Prior to treating a rodent burrow on a property containing an inhabited structure, the applicant must provide the customer (e.g. homeowner) with a MSDS or appropriate sections of the Applicator’s Manual.Use application procedures appropriate to the type of burrow system being treated. DOSAGE RATES MUST NOT BE EXCEEDED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
20Fumigant Management Plan Insert 10 to 20 pellets into each entrance to be treated.Inspect treated areas 1 or 2 days following treatment for signs of residual activity of target species.
21Fumitoxin Storage Requirements Fumitoxin was purchased by the Company and kept on hand as part of the “arsenal”
22Previous violations for Bugman Pest & Lawn Inc. June 2008 (6 applicators received warning letters for records violations)July 2009 (2 applicators applied out of category. Minimal fines were given to multiple applicators and the owner)
23(Tuesday), February 9, 2010Record Audit conducted with Raymond Wilson Sr., owner of the companyCollected 5,208 records for applications made from April 2009 to Feb 2010.
24Summary of violations After 2 months of reviewing all of the records: 3,506 records with violations were found172 misapplications on termite treatments154 misapplications of Ramik Brown6 instances where Fumitoxin was applied within 15’ of a residence7 instances of applying Fumitoxin at above label rate53 instances of Fumitoxin being applied without a Fumigant Management Plan (FMP)
25Pending Criminal Charges Layton City2 counts (1 for the death of each child)Class B misdemeanor chargesUp to $2,500 / countUp to 1 year in jail / countU.S. Department of JusticeCharges have not been filed yet
26Pending Civil Charges UDAF has filed civil charges against 7 applicators1 companySeeking fines of $151,000 andRevocation of license(s)8 Hearings are set for June 1, 2, 3
27Summary This tragedy did not have to happen The mistake was that the applicator did not read the label & applicators manual andThe Company did not provide adequate training to the employeesThe family has been incredible and forgiving through the entire process
28What did we learn from this incident Assign your best inspector to the case, if possibleRegular mtgs. and conference calls with our staff, Administration, AG’s office and EPA are essential and criticalAll information going to the media must come from the designated PIO for the Dept.Understand and anticipate where possible loopholes are in your Rules and plug the holes (i.e. Co. requirements to keep records and train employees)There is an emotional drain on UDAF staff