Woman dies after exposure to insecticide

Woman dies after exposure to insecticide

JEFFERSON COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - A Jefferson County woman is dead after she was exposed to an agricultural insecticide inside her home Wednesday, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

Rosa Gilmore Green, 58, started feeling sick Wednesday evening, Capt. Robert A. Chalker said. Deputies discovered one of her relatives had distributed an insecticide in her home on the 600 block of North Martin Luther King Boulevard earlier that day.

She and her 12-year-old grandson, who also lived at the house, went to a relative's house on Farm Street in Wadley, Chalker said. Dispatchers received a 911 call around 7:50 p.m. from the Farm Street house. The caller said Green had inhaled some poison and was weak and unable to move.

The woman was taken to the emergency room in Jefferson County, where she was pronounced dead around 12:50 a.m. Thursday.

Green's grandson and two of her granddaughters were transported to Georgia Regents Medical Center because of their exposure, Chalker said. The grandson's condition is unknown.

Officials said the two granddaughters were treated and released. They were not in the house with the insecticide but were at the relative's house were Green went when she started feeling sick.

Because of the exposure to first responders, EMS personnel and emergency room staff, a hazardous materials response team from the Swainsboro Fire Department responded to decontaminate everyone that was exposed to the 58-year-old woman and the juveniles who lived with her.

Autopsy results for Green are pending toxicology, which will take several weeks to complete, Chalker said.

The Jefferson County Hospital emergency room was closed as soon as the chemical exposure was discovered, Chalker said. No other portion of the hospital was exposed to the chemical residue.

The insecticide used in Green's home was identified as fumitoxin or aluminum phosphie, Louisville Fire Chief Lamar Baxley said. It was in a tablet form and when exposed to moisture, it emitted phosphine gas.

"We are all saddned because of tragedy that did happen, but we were real fortunate. The kids could have been a whole lot worse," said Baxley.

Officials said the insecticide is commonly used by farmer's to kill weevils, mice and insects in stored crops, such as small grain and corn.

The tablets are placed in grain storage bins and sealed to allow the phosphine gas to penetrate and kill mammals inside the storage bin. According to the applicator's manual, the tablets should never be used in a home or building occupied by humans.

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