Search widened for Vt. homes contaminated by banned pesticide - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Search widened for Vt. homes contaminated by banned pesticide

Posted: Updated:
NORTH CLARENDON, Vt. -

"I would absolutely not harm my customers at all. That is the first thing on my mind," Cary Buck said.

Buck has owned and operated AAA Accredited Pest Control out of his home in North Clarendon for 28 years. Buck says his customers are his top priority, but his business is the focus of a state investigation. Buck allegedly used Chlorpyrifos to spray homes for bugs-- a chemical that has been banned for indoor use by the Environmental Protection Agency since 2001.

"It can cause excessive salivation, diarrhea, urination, vomiting, and then affect your respiratory system on an acute basis," said Dr. Harry Chen, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health.

Chen says of the 61 homes tested in the Rutland region so far, 20 came back positive for the illegal pesticide. On Thursday afternoon, detectives from the attorney general's office and members from the Vt. Agency of Agriculture executed a search warrant at Buck's residence. Officials say Mr. Buck's violations may have surpassed the Agency of Agriculture's pesticide regulation and he may face criminal charges.

"It's the same thing as a sour milk container. You can rinse it out 50 times, but you are still going to smell it," Buck said.

Buck says he could have been spraying the banned pesticide unintentionally. His 50-gallon spray tank is made of plastic, and could have residue from when he legally used the chemical decades ago. He also says Chlorpyrifos has a shelf life of more than 20 years, and if any homes that tested positive were a result of his spray, he never had knowledge of the banned chemical being in his tanks. But that's not what his customers say.

"I asked him what he did, and he said I sprayed this chemical that had been banned since 2001-- I went out and purchased as many cases as I could before it got pulled from the shelves. And that he used-- I don't remember if he said five or six cans-- but he said he really sprayed a good amount of this chemical," customer Richard Neuman said.

Neuman says after a wasp infestation, he called AAA Accredited Pest Control to help. He says Buck didn't tell him the chemicals used were illegal until after he sprayed. Neuman says his family only lives in Vermont part time, but says he worries for those 20 families who were exposed to the chemicals for extended periods of time.

"I've heard stories of people actually being sprayed with the chemical. Couches have been doused with this type of chemical. Beds have been doused with this chemical. And then when it dries, it still doesn't matter-- it stays around for 20 years. So people have been sleeping in it," Neuman said.

The health department says they have contacted 150 additional families that may have been exposed to the illegal pesticide. At this point, 10 families have already been asked to relocate within a week. As for who will pay for the cleanup, that is a big question for these families that isn't being answered. Neuman says his insurance company will not cover any costs, and that other families are being told the same. The health department says they are working with the EPA to see what funds are available.

If you have questions about health effects, protective actions, or to have your home tested call the Department of Health at 800-439-8550 (VT only) or 802-652-0357.

If you feel sick after pesticide has been used in your home call your doctor or the Northern New England Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222 or chat online at www.nnepc.org.

If you have questions, dial 2-1-1 to call Vermont 2-1-1, United Ways of Vermont.

For more information on chlorpyrifos: http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/chlorpgen.html

Related Story:

State warns Vt. exterminator used banned pesticide

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Rutland pharmacist accused of stealing meds

    Rutland pharmacist accused of stealing meds

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:43 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:43:47 GMT
    In Rutland a pharmacist is accused of stealing meds from his employer. 32-year-old Brandon Cigana worked at the Walgreens Pharmacy on Woodstock Avenue. Prosecutors say he used his position there to access the pharmacy's inventory stealing regulated drugs like benzodiazepines, Hydrocodone and Suboxone for himself without a prescription. The Whitehall, New York man faces up to two years behind bars.More >>
    In Rutland a pharmacist is accused of stealing meds from his employer. 32-year-old Brandon Cigana worked at the Walgreens Pharmacy on Woodstock Avenue. Prosecutors say he used his position there to access the pharmacy's inventory stealing regulated drugs like benzodiazepines, Hydrocodone and Suboxone for himself without a prescription. The Whitehall, New York man faces up to two years behind bars.More >>
  • Drug bust in Burlington's Old North End

    Drug bust in Burlington's Old North End

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:04 GMT
    Police made a drug bust Wednesday night in Burlington's Old North End. Police and the U.S. Marshal's raided this home on Cedar Street around 8 o'clock. They say they seized heroin and cocaine. Six people were inside when authorities went in. But they're not saying how many arrests were made. The raid was part of an ongoing drug investigation.More >>
    Police made a drug bust Wednesday night in Burlington's Old North End. Police and the U.S. Marshal's raided this home on Cedar Street around 8 o'clock. They say they seized heroin and cocaine. Six people were inside when authorities went in. But they're not saying how many arrests were made. The raid was part of an ongoing drug investigation.More >>
  • Fire damages Lyndonville tree farm

    Fire damages Lyndonville tree farm

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:21 GMT
    Fire has damaged ten acres of a Lyndonville tree farm. Eight department were called in to battle the blaze. And it took four hours to get the flames under control. Fire officals say a discarded cigarette combined with dry conditions are to blame. One firefighter suffered from minor smoke inhalation.More >>
    Fire has damaged ten acres of a Lyndonville tree farm. Eight department were called in to battle the blaze. And it took four hours to get the flames under control. Fire officals say a discarded cigarette combined with dry conditions are to blame. One firefighter suffered from minor smoke inhalation.More >>
  • A warning for bird watchers: Give eagles space

    A warning for bird watchers: Give eagles space

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:36 GMT
    Bird watchers are being reminded to give nesting bald eagles plenty of space. The Vermont Fish Wildlife Department is urging anyone who sees a nesting eagle not to get closer than 300 feet. Activity too close to their nest can result in them abandoning their young. Harassing a bald eagle is illegal and a violation of the state endangered species statute.More >>
    Bird watchers are being reminded to give nesting bald eagles plenty of space. The Vermont Fish Wildlife Department is urging anyone who sees a nesting eagle not to get closer than 300 feet. Activity too close to their nest can result in them abandoning their young. Harassing a bald eagle is illegal and a violation of the state endangered species statute.More >>
  • Gun fired into New Haven home

    Gun fired into New Haven home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:48 GMT
    Police are searching for who fired a gun into a home in New Haven. It happened late Tuesday night at 2420 Munger Street. Police say a bullet passed through a window of the home. Luckily no one was hurt. Investigators say a stop sign at the intersection of Munger Street and Cobble Road had also been shot. Anyone with information should call state police.More >>
    Police are searching for who fired a gun into a home in New Haven. It happened late Tuesday night at 2420 Munger Street. Police say a bullet passed through a window of the home. Luckily no one was hurt. Investigators say a stop sign at the intersection of Munger Street and Cobble Road had also been shot. Anyone with information should call state police.More >>
  • What triggered a shooting inside the Bennington police station?

    What triggered a shooting inside the Bennington police station?

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:57:35 GMT
    A Bennington man is in stable condition after being shot by an officer inside the Bennington Police Department. Investigators say Gregory Filo had a knife and was behaving erratically.More >>
    A Bennington man is in stable condition after being shot by an officer inside the Bennington Police Department. Investigators say Gregory Filo had a knife and was behaving erratically.More >>
  • Former Fortune 500 exec indicted in fatal NH crash

    Former Fortune 500 exec indicted in fatal NH crash

    A New Hampshire grand jury has indicted a former Fortune 500 executive on second-degree murder charges in connection with a crash that killed a Vermont couple in December.More >>
    A New Hampshire grand jury has indicted a former Fortune 500 executive on second-degree murder charges in a crash that killed a Vermont couple in December.More >>
  • Convicted Vt. embezzler charged with stealing from employer

    Convicted Vt. embezzler charged with stealing from employer

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:24:36 GMT
    Nearly two decades after her first conviction, a white-collar criminal returns to court once again charged with stealing from her employer. More >>
    Nearly two decades after her first conviction, a white-collar criminal returns to court once again charged with stealing from her employer.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.