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Total release fogger exposures reported to Texas poison centers, 2000-2009

Total release foggers or ‘‘bug bombs’’ are products designed to fill an area such as a home or workplace with insecticide. Because of their method of action, unintentional exposures may occur. Cases for this retrospective study were all fogger exposures reported to Texas poison centers during 2000–2009. The distribution of cases was identified for various demographic and clinical factors. There were 2855 fogger exposures. Among the patients 56.0% were females and 69.5% were 20 years or older. Considering the exposure circumstances 95.6% were unintentional and 62.2% occurred through inhalation. The management site was 75.2% on site. The medical outcomes were no effect (11.8%), minor effect (25.1%), moderate effect (7.4%), major effect (0.1%), not followed (no effects expected) (3.5%), not followed (minimal effects expected) (39.3%), not followed (potentially toxic) (4.9%), and effects probably unrelated to exposure (7.7%). The most frequently reported clinical effects were cough (25.4%), vomiting (13.3%), nausea (9.2%), dyspnea (8.7%), throat irritation (7.9%), and headache (5.6%). The public needs to be educated about the potential hazard of exposures to foggers. However, most fogger exposures reported to poison centers are not likely to be seriously toxic and can be managed at home.

Forrester MB, Diebolt-Brown B. Total release fogger exposures reported to Texas poison centers, 2000-2009. Toxicol Environ Chem 2011; 93:1089-1097.

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