Ambulance Disinfectant Battle Gets EPA Involved Over “Fogging” Vehicles
Posted Jan 11 2011 8:56pm
Ambulances are sprayed or what is called “fogged” with with antimicrobial chemicals to keep them clean, but some workers stated that the chemicals are making them sick so in comes the EPA. Thus far the only problem encountered from the EPA is a labeling problem which can be fixed of course.
The question with the workers lies in the area of possibly leaving nanoparticles of pesticides on the surface which is what is the area being questioned. For now until the issue is settled, no fogging is taking place. Skin and eye irritation, asthma, headaches and ulcers have been reported by paramedics since the fogger was put into use so bacteria and bugs get attacked during the process. BD
U.S. EPA is interceding in a New Jersey public-health flap that could have national implications, ordering a hospital services company to stop disinfecting its ambulances with finely misted pesticides after a local union complained of workers falling ill.
In an order last Tuesday to Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Services Corp., or MONOC, EPA's Region 2 office in New York forbade the emergency-medicine company from using a "micro-mist" system that sprays "a sub-micron fog" of antimicrobial chemicals inside its ambulances. The EPA action validated complaints from a local union that as many as 100 MONOC paramedics it represents were sickened by on-the-job exposure to the misted pesticides.
"EPA has reason to believe that in distributing the antimicrobial pesticides Sporicidin and Zimek QD to MONOC" -- the company used both chemicals to sanitize vehicles in its 100-strong fleet -- "Zimek and/or its representatives made claims for a use not accepted in connection with the registration of either product," the Region 2 order states.
But at the moment, PEMSA members are counting the EPA order as a victory that vindicates their health concerns, while Zimek and MONOC vow to counter any suggestion that the chemicals were improperly used. "Hundreds of government, public and private sector facilities worldwide have used Zimek's disinfectant application process thousands of times without a single documented health incident," Lichtman said in his statement.