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Delaware boys in critical condition after resort illness,possibly from pesticide

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Old April 9th, 2015, 06:51 AM posted to rec.travel.cruises, alt.consumers.pest-control, rec.arts.tv,sac.politics, alt.politics.liberalism
Jack Lee
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Default Delaware boys in critical condition after resort illness,possibly from pesticide

(CNN)Two Delaware boys are in a coma and their father still is
unable to talk or move two weeks after they became sick --
perhaps from pesticide exposure, federal officials say -- during
a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands, their lawyer said Saturday.

Steve Esmond, his teenage sons and the teens' mother fell ill
more than two weeks ago in St. John, where they were renting a
villa at the Sirenusa resort.

The family was airlifted to hospitals in the United States. The
boys, 16 and 14, were in critical condition at a Philadelphia
hospital on Saturday, the family's lawyer, James Maron of
Delaware, said.

"The boys are in rough shape," Maron said.

"The family are all fighters," he added. "They're fighting for
everything right now. I understand it's a long recovery."

Esmond, also being treated at a hospital, is conscious but
cannot move, Maron said. The teens' mother, Theresa Devine, was
treated at a hospital but released, and is now in occupational
therapy, Maron said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday that the
presence of a pesticide at the rented villa in St. John may have
caused the illnesses, which were reported to the EPA on March 20.

Paramedics were called to the villa, which the family began had
been renting since March 14.

Esmond was found unconscious; the boys and their mother were
having seizures, Maron said. The lawyer did not say who called
the paramedics.

Elias Rodriguez, an EPA spokesman, said the agency's preliminary
test results "do show that there was a presence of methyl
bromide in the unit where the family was staying."

Exposure to methyl bromide can result in serious health effects,
including central nervous system and respiratory system damage,
according to the EPA.

The use of the pesticide is restricted in the United States
because of its acute toxicity. It's not allowed to be used
indoors. Only certified professionals are permitted to use it in
certain agricultural settings.

"It's an ongoing investigation; we're still on the island doing
our assessment," Rodriguez said. "We have been doing different
types of air sampling and wipe sampling."

Final test results were expected next week.

The EPA said it is working with local government agencies to
investigate whether the family was made ill after a fumigation
at the resort on March 18 and whether any environmental
regulations or laws were violated.

Maron, the family's attorney, declined to comment on the

Depending on the season, the luxury villa where the family
stayed rents between $550 and $1,200 per night.

Sea Glass Vacations, which acts as a rental agent for several
units at Sirenusa, said the unit directly below the one where
the family stayed was recently treated for pests, but their unit
was not treated.

The company said it licensed an outside company, Terminix, for
the pest control services.

"Sea Glass Vacations does not treat the units it manages for
pests but instead relies on licensed professionals for pest
control services," the company said in a statement.

The U.S. Department of Justice has initiated a criminal
investigation into the matter, according to a U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission filing made Monday by ServiceMaster
Global Holdings, the parent company of Terminix.

In an email to CNN, a spokesman for Terminix wrote that the
company is "committed to performing all work ... in a manner
that is safe for our customers, employees, the public and the
environment" and is "looking into this matter internally, and
cooperating with authorities."

"We're thinking about the family, and we join the community in
wishing them a speedy recovery," Terminix wrote.

The SEC filing described the injuries to the family members as



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