Badge SC– Idaho Investigators Closed The Case On Farm Workers That Became Ill Earlier This Year
Investigators from the state agriculture department were tasked with finding out what exactly made the farm workers sick.
Their findings were inconclusive, however according to a report submitted, the reason for the sudden sickness was inclusive. The investigators thought that perhaps a nearby onion field that was bring sprayed with a fungicide, could be the cause.
They could not prove that theory, it’s not stated as a reason for the sickness in the report. Several workers on Obendorf Hop Field in Pharma, Idaho, became ill suddenly while working. The workers were taken to a hospital, and remained hospitalized for several days.
A pilot flying a crop duster, was using an insecticide called Badge SC. The field was directly across the street from the Obendorf Hop Field. Workers that fell ill, told investigators that when the plane flew overhead, they felt the spray on them.
The Pilot Who Used Badge SC Questioned
The pilot was interviewed by the state investigators, and he claims he could see the workers a good distance away before he was over them. The pilot said he turned off the spray mechanism well before he was above the workers.
According the manufacturer of Badge SC, the side effects of getting near the spray is eye irritation. It can also cause irritation to the skin and lungs, and cause nausea.
The farm workers who became ill had different symptoms. The first man who was hospitalized had flu like symptoms, severe vomiting, and severe stomach cramps. The investigators said the symptoms the workers displayed were different than what Badge SC causes.
The investigators could not find any other sprays being used in the vicinity of the workers. The lab was unable to verify if what made the workers sick was in fact Badge SC.
The State Pesticide Compliance Manager Issues A Regulatory Letter To The Pilot
The state pesticide compliance manager issued a stern regulatory letter to the pilot. Officials want the pilot go through measures moving forward to prevent this type of incident.
Someone connected to one of the workers, who didn’t want to be identified was skeptical. The source said, ‘the investigators are saying it was Badge SC, but sent a letter to the pilot, that doesn’t make any sense‘. The letter advises the pilot, that as a crop duster pilot he is responsible for the safety of everyone on the ground.
The pilot has to give detailed precautionary measures that he will take in the future. Brian Oakey, the deputy director of the state agriculture department signed the letter. Oakly said he’s very concerned about this specific pilot, and the manner in which he conducts his spraying. The state officials said that depending on the pilot’s response, they may issue sanctions or appropriate penalties.