Esmond Boys Still in Critical Condition after Pesticide Poisoning

The two Delaware boys sickened on March 20 after the St. Thomas pesticide company Terminix fumigated a Sirenusa condo unit on St. John remain hospitalized and in critical condition, a Monday press release from Doylestown, Penn.-based communications company working with the law firm representing the parents, Stephen Esmond and Theresa Devine, as well as their children, Sean and Ryan.

According to the press release, the parents continue to undergo rehabilitation therapy.

Members of the vacationing Esmond family suffered seizures and were rushed to Roy L. Schneider Hospital. They were subsequently airlifted to mainland hospitals.

The press release indicates that the Esmond family thanks the nation for its outpouring of support and concern for the family’s recovery. It also said that the family is grateful for the work of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the V.I. Planning and Natural Resources Department and the U.S. Justice Department for continuing the investigation. The family is confident that those responsible will be brought to justice.

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So far EPA testing confirmed the presence of methyl bromide in the unit occupied by the Esmonds and a lower unit where the pesticide was used in an attempt to eliminate powder post beetles. And DPNR on April 20 suspended the license of Terminix manager Jose Rivera for fumigating the Sirenusa unit with a pesticide banned for that use two days before the Esmond family got sick.

Pesticides containing methyl bromide are allowed only in agriculture use.

In a March 26 notice, DPNR ordered Terminix to stop using the pesticide containing methyl bromide. On April 20, Planning also issued stop-use orders to three St. Croix pesticide companies for issues with a methyl bromide pesticide. They are Oliver Exterminating, Real Tech Pest Control and W.I.C. Pest Control.

Earlier in its investigation, DPNR indicated that the pesticide containing methyl bromide came from Puerto Rico.

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