IPC handles more than 1,200 poisoning cases every year that involved insecticides and pesticides.
IPC advises people to follow the label directions carefully and wash your hands after using insect repellents and pesticides, to avoid getting them into the eyes or mouth. If you are accidentally exposed to a large amount of insect repellent or pesticide, wash the skin or flush the eyes with water and contact IPC immediately.
One of the most common problems regarding pesticide poisonings occurs when people mix or dilute the pesticide and prepare more than they require for one application. Rather than properly disposing of the leftover pesticide, people often store the prepared amount in an unmarked bucket or container for future use; this can cause children or adults to mistake the product for something else. You should always store pesticides in the original containers, complete with labels that list ingredients, directions for use and first-aid steps in case of an accidental exposure.
Keep the IPC phone number (1-800-222-1222) on or near all telephones. Approximately 90 percent of cases from the general public can be managed at home. If you suspect a plant or pesticide exposure has occurred, begin administering the following first-aid treatment recommendations; then call 1-800-222-1222.
Methyl bromide is a chemical used as a pesticide to clean up soil and buildings. At room temperature (70°F), methyl bromide is a colorless gas. It is usually shipped as a liquefied gas. At low concentrations, methyl bromide does not have an odor. At high concentrations, it has a musty or fruity smell.
A person can come into contact with methyl bromide by being in an area where the gas is being used as a pesticide to kill insects (in soil or in buildings). Typically, the area is covered with a tent and the gas is pumped in. Methyl bromide also can be manufactured by mixing certain chemicals together to create a gas.
Please note: Just because you come into contact with methyl bromide does not mean you will get sick from it.
Signs of a poisoning include the following:
The effects of methyl bromide will depend on the concentration of exposure, length of time and way the person is exposed. A highly concentrated solution or large amount in the air is more likely to cause severe effects, including death.
Prevention of illness after contact:
Treatment of illness: There is no specific treatment for methyl bromide poisoning. Supportive care (intravenous fluids, medicine to control pain) is the standard treatment. There is no vaccine for methyl bromide poisoning.
If you or someone you know is showing symptoms of methyl bromide poisoning, call your health care provider or the Illinois Poison Center right away. The toll-free number for the poison center is 1-800-222-1222.