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Exposure to Toxic Pesticide Sickened Law Enforcement Officer in California

Aug. 2, 2018


Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Marijuana Eradication Team (C.O.M.M.E.T.) were reportedly exposed to a pesticide methamidophos during their law enforcement action in Mendocino County, California, on Friday July 13. One officer became ill and was treated at a local hospital following his exposure and continued to be under medical care.

Methamidophos is one of the most acutely toxic organophosphate pesticides. It is available outside of US, for example, under a trade name Methamidofos. This pesticide can be absorbed through skin when in contact or inhaled when become airborne. It can overstimulate the nervous system causing nausea, dizziness, confusion, and at very high exposures (e.g., accidents or major spills), respiratory paralysis and death.

Due to its toxicity, the use of pesticides that contain methamidophos is currently being phased out. Since 2009, methamidophos is no longer registered for used in the United States.

This incidence highlights the need for rapid detection of toxic substances, such as pesticides, for the protection of law enforcement officers and the general public. ACE-CB1000 rapid pesticide screening system available from ANP Health can be a valuable tool for this purpose.   


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