A seven-year review of exposures reported in 11 states showed that the majority of people exposed had mild temporary symptoms including headache, dizziness and tingling … Signs and symptoms of pyrethroid toxicity include abnormal skin sensation (e.g., burning, itching, tingling, and numbness), dizziness, salivation, headache, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, seizure, irritability to sound and touch, and other central nervous system effects (4,7). (Dayna Smith/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST). Infection from flea bites can occur because of scratching the bites. We hadn’t been told to do anything like that — to remove the dishes sitting out on our drying rack, to cover our cutting board or the fruit and vegetables on our counter. Some pet owners have reported numbness after having contact with Advantage. Read the product label first! The federal law should require an assessment of such alternatives as part of the pesticide approval process, eventually restricting the use of certain chemicals as safer approaches and technologies become available. Meningitis: negative. Currently, if a pesticide performs its intended function without “unreasonable adverse effects” to human health or the environment when used according to label instructions, it is allowed on the market. Use the correct product. Similarly, if, before treating my house, the pest company had been required to provide me with the EPA’s Citizen’s Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety — much as contractors, home sellers and landlords are required to give occupants certain brochures about the hazards of lead-based paint — I might have been encouraged to evaluate less-toxic alternatives or ask more questions. A pruritic rash developed on her hands and arms approximately 2 hours after exposure. “It’s concerning, however,” my doctor said. You'll receive e-mail when new stories are published in this series. A day later, my right side lost much of its strength. The manufacturer declared that information about any reports of health effects was proprietary. And they need regulatory backup protection. “We can’t know for sure about multiple sclerosis,” my neurologist explained, “until you get a follow-up MRI in four to five months, to see whether the lesion is still there or if there are any new ones.” A definitive diagnosis, he explained, requires either two “episodes” like the one I had experienced, or two or more lesions on the spinal cord. Cats are more vulnerable than dogs to poisoning from flea and tick treatments. Symptoms of Flea and Tick Medicine Poisoning in Cats. The most common signs of toxicity from pyrethrum-based flea products are muscle tremors and excessive salivation. This content is paid for by an advertiser and published by WP BrandStudio. What Went Wrong: The area had been recently treated. He recommended that we mop up the residue, then throw away the sponge. This is presumably due to their smaller size relative to dogs, their grooming habits (frequent licking of fur), and their absence of enzymes needed to detoxify certain organophosphates, according to NRDC. So I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the EPA, the federal agency responsible for regulating pesticides. Poisoning signs can be seen by others, for example, vomiting, sweating, or pin-point pupils. Flea bites on humans most often occur in two to three groups or clusters of small red spots with redness around them. My doctor listened to the story of the chemical flea treatment and the coincidental timing of the onset of symptoms, and then rushed out of the room to call the manufacturer of the chemical spray. Within a day, she was having health problems. The chemical used needs to be strong enough to kill and prevent a flea infestation. Poisoning from powders and sprays used to treat a flea infestation is more common than poisoning from collars. In a poison emergency or for poison information, call the Poison Control Center. Two trips to the emergency room ruled out a stroke and a brain tumor. Eisenfeld is a writer and editor in the Washington area. The directions provided with the product said to leave the area after the fogger was activated, stay out during treatment time, and ventilate when returning. Side Effect for Humans Fipronil is a suspected human carcinogen and endocrine disruptor. Some products are for pets, while others are to be used strictly on carpets and furniture. The Washington Post newsroom was not involved in the creation of this content. “And I sure wouldn’t use that stuff myself.”. But I knew something more needed to be done to prevent incidents like mine — or worse — from happening to others. It can also be toxic to the nervous system, particularly if ingested. I avoid processed foods with ingredient names I can’t pronounce, use reusable tote bags, avidly recycle and drive a low-emissions car. Cancer cells: negative. Pyrethrin and pyrethroid are insecticides typically used for treating flea and tick infestations. What Went Wrong: Total release foggers, also called "bug bombs", can pose health and fire hazards if used improperly.The directions provided with the product said to leave the area after the fogger was activated, stay out during treatment time, and ventilate when returning. If the product gets on your skin, wash immediately. Slightly depending on how your body react to the bites (and how well you refrain from scratching the wounds), the reddish look last anywhere from a few hours up to several days. Lupus: negative. I never get sick in the summer otherwise, so this has to be the only explanation. Thankfully, I am completely recovered. They will give you further instructions. A second FOIA request about three of the active ingredients in “my” pesticide revealed that thousands of medical complaints had been filed about these chemicals when they were used in other pesticide products. The technician didn’t provide any instructions other than to take the cat and stay out of the house for three to four hours until the product had dried. We went to the source. You can do this by removing elements that they need to survive. Manufacturers should also be required to tell the EPA and consumers what the “inert” or “other” ingredients are that can make up 95 percent of a pesticide product: Some of these substan-ces can be even more toxic than the active ingredients. If the label information had provided directions for contacting my state pesticide regulatory agency to report misuse or problems, I might have called soon after my problems surfaced. Products are intended for specific purposes. Yet, the desire for quick, no-fuss ways to get rid of bugs will never fade. I canceled our quarterly outdoor pesticide treatment against ants. When faced with a potential toxicity situation, it is important to remember that there is help available. I could have left it at that: gratitude, a new beginning, a renewed commitment to health. That is why it is very important to avoid scratching the bites. Before applying pest control products directly to pets or in your home, read and follow the package directions. Among the complaints in the moderate and major medical incidents were dizziness, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, muscle weakness, tremors, abdominal pain, disorientation, stumbling, coma, seizure, liver failure, lethargy, numbness, blurred vision, chills, blood in the urine, memory loss, migraines, inability to walk and heart attack. In more severe cases, pulmonary edema, muscle fasiculations, seizures and coma can develop. This is why flea treatment is applied using a pipette on the nape of the neck. Later that evening, she developed systemic symptoms, including malaise, chest pains, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea, stomach cramps, tremors, blurred vision, and excess salivation. Wash fabrics and bedding in hot water and high heat dryer setting. The label directs pesticide applicators to avoid thoroughly wetting the surfaces being sprayed. Fleabites have several common symptoms. Yet, on the eve of my decision, I looked at my poor kitty. Source. No one knows why I was affected and others in my household weren’t. Fleas are easier to prevent than to get rid of once an infestation has taken hold. Mild Poisoning or Early Symptoms of Acute Poisoning headache, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, restlessness, nervousness, perspiration, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, loss of weight, thirst, moodiness, soreness in joints, skin irritation, eye irritation, irritation of the nose and throat. That's why veterinarians recommend regular flea and tick prevention treatment. And my torso reacted to cold as if it were being stung by yellow jackets. A young child vomited and had a seizure after sleeping on a carpeted floor that had been treated with a flea and tick carpet powder. A state-by-state look at where Generation Y stands on the big issues. Many of these products contain strong chemicals that can potentially be harmful. Finding pesticide residues on a food preparation surface or on a cat’s water bowl “would hang an applicator,” one state investigator told me. This hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. First I found the pesticide label online, with its information about using the product properly. I returned to working on the book I had just started to write and the new career I had launched. A week after my symptoms began, a neurologist diagnosed the problem as transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord. A woman used a carpet and upholstery spray on her dog and inhaled the mist. Consider wearing gloves when applying. You can prevent flea and tick medicine poisoning from happening again by using the medication as directed. Each flea product should have … Call Poison Control if: Call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 if the person has done any of these things and is alert: Swallowed too much medicine or the wrong kind Vomiting may be induced by the veterinary team, contingent on the chemical in the collar, and whether your pet is in a depressed state (as there could be risk of aspiration pneumonia). Desktop notifications are on   | Turn off, Get breaking news alerts from The Washington Post, Last winter, despite a low-level warning beacon in my gut, I hired a company to apply a chemical flea treatment in our house. The label instructs users to cover all food-processing surfaces, utensils and exposed food prior to spraying. By evening, my arms were buzzing with an odd, electric energy. Apply only the recommended dose; more can be harmful to you and your pet. It is important to schedule a follow-up appointment so your veterinarian can make sure your cat has recovered from the poisoning and treatment. This idea would be a new way of thinking, but it is time for the outdated regulatory approach to pesticides to move into the future. Pesticide manufacturers, in performing mandatory safety studies before their products are allowed on the market, should be required to test the combined effects of multiple pesticides and the effects of their pesticides combined with chemicals that people are exposed to each day, such as plastics and drugs. Although incident reports made to the manufacturer may be considered proprietary, the manufacturer must give them to the EPA, which also collects incident reports from the public and from other government agencies and nongovernmental organizations. You will also learn how to treat and prevent the bites to avoid this problem in the future. If you have very sensitive skin and a tendency to scarring, flea bites can lead to almost permanent scabs and marks. Two kinds of flea treatments. A few weeks later, I got my response: an 82-page report from the EPA that made it clear to me that MS wasn’t the cause of my symptoms. Only one covid-19 treatment is designed to keep people out of the hospital. Signs of flea control product toxicity can occur from one to 12 hours after application and may vary depending on the type of flea control product poisoning. Some are for pets, some for furniture or carpets; others may be for people. Do not use dog treatments on cats, or cat treatments on dogs. Four months after my neurological episode, when I was finally able to walk in a straight line and not have my right hand buzz every time I bent my head toward my chest, I had another MRI. Also use a soothing ointment or scar crea… Treatment of Flea and Tick Collar Poisoning in Dogs Flea collar poisoning is treated with support therapy and medication. Or purchase a subscription for unlimited access to real news you can count on. The pest control company said that an experienced technician had done the work. I would now just have to wait. Remove all food products and dishes from the area you treat or the spray may contaminate them. Symptoms are any functional changes in normal condition which can be described by the victim of poisoning, and may include nausea, headache, weakness, dizziness, and others. As an environmentalist, I am an organic vegetarian. Signs of a negative reaction include headache, dizziness and seizures. Pyrethrin and Pyrethroid Toxicity in Dogs. A cat has a very different metabolism to that of a dog and, because of this, they can become very sensitive to some treatments. This scar or defect, I was told, had chewed away some of the protective myelin that coats nerves and transmits messages in the nervous system. I felt a bit woozy and off balance and figured I was coming down with a cold. The other thing is that getting rid of them can be hard. Do not touch treated pets, carpet or furniture until the product dries. Would you like to try a study question? The agency could have sent an investigator to my house in Virginia to collect evidence to determine if the pest control company had broken any laws. I wanted to know more about this pesticide. Pyrethrins are a class of drugs derived from the Chrysanthemum flower/plant, while pyrethroids are synthetic derivatives.. If you've discovered flea bites or have found fleas in your hair, consider the following advice, directly from the World Health Organization: Of course, there's a much simpler way to deal with any kind of flea problem. When it comes to flea treatment, we need to be careful. If you have ever had an experience with fleas, you can testify that they are tiny and irritating insects. The next morning a man came to our house with two aerosol cans of a pesticide and targeted our hardwood floors and rugs, as well as the concrete floor in the basement. While we can’t comprehend or control the reason poisonous chemicals are marketed as pet health products, it’s easy for us to prevent flea treatment poisoning in pets. To guard her cat, Hobo, against fleas, Sue Eisenfeld had her home sprayed with a pesticide. They will give you further instructions. Sign up for email updates from the "Confronting the Caliphate" series. The next morning, I awoke to a headache in the back right quadrant of my skull. Be certain of your pet's weight and purchase the appropriate treatment. Without additional protections, unwary consumers will continue to turn to chemical products they assume are safe. What Went Wrong: They did not read the labels before using the spray or powder. She, too, developed multiple symptoms. While my husband did the mopping, I wrote an instant message to a friend: “This is a disaster,” I typed. Not wanting to waste time on home remedies that might not work, I thought, “Let’s just get it over with.”. So here’s what I learned: Consumers must receive more information about the pesticides being used in their homes. Outdoor examples of "hot spots" for fleas are dog houses, flower beds, gardens, and under decks or porches. He put me on a megadose of intravenous steroids for five days, then steroid pills for a week. My recovery involved physical therapy, occupational therapy, exercise and rest. My mental recuperation required research. Yet there had been those drops on the floor six hours later. This damage was scrambling messages being sent throughout my body about temperature and pain and strength and balance. He called the Poison Control Center to report burning eyes and a sore throat. I then contacted the pest control company and the manufacturer to report the incident. A dog's reaction to pyrethrins or pyrethroids can range from mild to moderate allergies or hives to nausea, respiratory distress and tremors to vomiting and shock. He called the Poison Control Center to report burning eyes and a sore throat. Transverse myelitis can be the result of a viral infection such as chickenpox, shingles, herpes, flu, HIV, hepatitis A or rubella. Soon my test results started streaming in. Until my spinal tap and blood test results came back, he couldn’t tell me the cause. Citizen’s Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety. The neurologist said my symptoms could also be caused by multiple sclerosis, lupus, thyroid disorder, tuberculosis or other diseases. When we called the pest control company, the manager was perplexed. Many overburdened hospitals are not offering it. Here’s what matters to millennials. Pregnant women agonize over whether to get coronavirus vaccine, Coronavirus updates: Third state identifies more transmissible variant as U.S. cases surpass 20 million, How the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation ended up in Congress’s $900 billion relief bill. They bite and their bites are itchy and sometimes painful. Home Insects Flea Bites on Humans: Symptoms and Treatment. Ticks are potentially disease-carrying parasites that attach to pets as well as people. The next day, my left arm and leg felt icy hot. I have flu-like symptoms – headache, low fever, body aches and extremely worn out. Reducing Poisonings from Flea & Tick Control Treatments, Health & Safety in the Home, Workplace & Outdoors, Clinical Guidelines, Standards & Quality of Care, All Health Care Professionals & Patient Safety, Tick and Insect Repellents: Deciding on their Use, Safety Precautions for Total Release Foggers, Addressing the Opioid Epidemic in New York State, Learn About the Dangers of "Synthetic Marijuana", Help Increasing the Text Size in Your Web Browser. My spinal cord lesion — attributed to, as my neurologist put it, “an autoimmune response to pesticide exposure” — had vanished. As I had expected — after weeks of follow-up neurological studies, blood tests and second opinions — the possible MS diagnosis was thrown out. Prompt action during pesticide overexposure can prevent serious consequences. The pesticide — in the form of a mist designed to fall quickly to the floor — contained chemicals to kill insects and interrupt the life cycle of fleas. I bought essential-oil bug spray for summertime mosquitoes. A man set off a flea fogger in his apartment. It can also be caused by abnormal immune system reactions, and it’s sometimes a complication of syphilis, measles or Lyme disease. Follow the tips on this page for indoor and outdoor flea and tick control as a way to avoid an infestation. Flea treatment poisoning is behind over 50% of major pesticide poisonings in cats and dogs, many of them lethal. Oct. 16, 2008 -- Total release foggers (TRF) -- more commonly known as "bug bombs" -- are designed to kill bugs and pests, but they can also harm humans. What Went Wrong: Total release foggers, also called "bug bombs", can pose health and fire hazards if used improperly. “Don’t worry about it,” he wrote back. Finally, EPA should be required to assess whether any “green” products can achieve the same results as pesticides, with less risk. https://healthfully.com/dangers-exposure-bug-foggers-8082634.html Would you like to try a study question? If the company I dealt with had been required by law to show me the label information or read it to me aloud like a Miranda warning, I would have put away the apples and tomatoes, covered the cutting board and dishes, and, later, opened the windows and set up fans. Your local poison center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States. The treatment seemed reasonable: An aerosol flea spray would be applied directly to the floor; it wasn’t some kind of flea bomb or fogger. Any location out of direct sunlight where the pet spends time can become flea infested and a source for re-infection. 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