The entire St. Croix condominium complex where Gov. Kenneth Mapp lives was vacated for four days while a pesticide containing methyl bromide was used in 2012, Government House spokesman Kimberly Jones said Tuesday. Jones said the building was tented and units sealed off.
“There was nobody in the building at the time,” she said, adding that residents didn’t return until four days after the treatment.
According to Jones, the building was cleaned and residents instructed to wash their dishes and other items before using.
Although pesticides containing methyl bromide are not approved for residential use, the tenting and sealing are part of approved protocols for another toxic chemical used in fumigation for pests like powder post beetles.
Jones said no one suffered any ill effects from the pesticide treatment and said she doesn’t know the name of the company that applied the pesticide.
Jones also declined to name the condominium complex. Mapp made this information known in a CNN broadcast on Saturday.
The methyl bromide issue came to light when members of a vacationing Delaware family suffered seizures on March 20 after Terminix used a pesticide containing methyl bromide to fumigate a unit near theirs at Sirenusa condominium complex on St. John. The family was airlifted to mainland hospitals after treatment at Roy L. Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas.
Jones said some members of the Esmond family show slow improvement while others are stable.
The investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the local Planning and Natural Resources Department continues.
The investigation showed that the methyl-bromide containing pesticide was used by Terminix once previously at Sirenusa and at three locations on St. Croix. Both were in 2014.
Additionally, the investigation turned up stocks of the methyl-bromide pesticide at one pest-management company on St. Thomas and two on St. Croix. Those companies have not been identified. Planning has not said whether the pesticides were used to fumigate any residences.
Early in the investigation, DPNR indicated that a Puerto Rico firm was the source of the methyl-bromide containing pesticide.