A reminder on the dangers when using aluminium phosphide – two USA child deaths

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If any reminder is needed as to the dangers associated with the incorrect use of these gassing products, look no further than the USA where two children were killed.

A former pest control technician in Salt Lake City, Utah admitted his actions led to the deaths of two young girls following incorrect usage of aluminium phosphide pellets (trade name Fumitoxin) following treatment to eliminate voles in their garden.

Nocks admitted he placed the pesticide too close to the house, exceeded dosage requirements and did not provide the Toone family with the Material Safety Data Sheet and other information as required by Fumitoxin”s labelling.

The treatment was carried out on 5 February 2010. The Toone family began to get ill that night. Four-year-old Rebecca Toone died the following day and her 15-month-old sister Rachel died three days later. Rebecca and Rachel had been exposed to phosphine gas, which was given off by the aluminum phosphide pesticide pellets.

An April 2010 report from the Utah State Medical Examiner”s Office said the Toone sisters had high levels of phosphorous in their bodies and had sustained extensive lung damage as a result of their exposure to the gas.

In early January 2012 the technician, Coleman Nocks, 64, was given a sentence of 36 months probation after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour count of unlawful use of a registered pesticide. His employer, Bugman Pest and Lawn, was also placed on probation for 36 months and was ordered to pay $3,000 in fines.

As UK readers will be well aware, as from January 2015 all users of aluminium phosphide will need to hold the Level 2 Award in the Safe Use ofAluminium Phosphide for Vertebrate Control.

To read about the training requirements for this Award click here.




USA child deaths
The two children killed

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