2002 January: Pesticide Leak 9 Workers in Hospital: Pesticide: Fenitrothion

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Pesticide Leak Puts 9 Workers In Hospital

The Age Tuesday January 8, 2002

ANDRA JACKSON

Nine workers were taken to hospital yesterday afternoon after being exposed to chemical fumes following a pesticide accident in Melbourne’s west.

The accident, at the Totalcare Transport Warehouse in Boundary Road, Derrimut, took place when a forklift driver accidentally ran over three large cans of pesticide that had been placed on the warehouse floor.

Fumes were released when the cans were punctured and a number of the warehouse employees were affected.

The warehouse had to be evacuated and the nine employees exposed to the chemical were taken to Sunshine Hospital by ambulance for treatment.

A Metropolitan Ambulance Service spokeswoman said they had stinging eyes, nausea and skin irritation.

Police cordoned off the area while the Metropolitan Fire Brigade began cleaning up.

Metropolitan Fire Brigade acting inspector Angelo Parsakis said it took nine firefighters four-and-a-half hours in full protective clothing and using breathing apparatus to decontaminate the warehouse.

He said the chemical involved, fenitrothion, works its way into the eyes, armpits and up the nose.