Following months of investigation the Inspector General's office has released recommendations to improve safety in Florida's fumigation industry.
The recommendations come after 10-year-old Peyton McCaughey suffered severe brain damage when his Palm City home was fumigated in August.
As the state has found, and Contact 5 investigations have shown, many errors were made by the Terminix subcontractor Sunland Pest Control in order for Peyton McCaughey to be poisoned.
Most of the recommendations revolve around training, equipment and reporting requirements:
THERMAL PEST CONTROL:
The Inspector General, for the first time that we've seen, references thermal pest control. That's using heat to kill all the bugs in a home. The report says it is a viable option available to the people of Florida.
Stewardship training programs, which are required for fumigators to be licensed in Florida, will now be closely monitored and pest control companies will need to promptly verify completion electronically.
These are the air monitors used to ensure a home is clear of deadly gas after fumigation. NewsChannel 5 reported the air monitor used to clear the McCaughey home was dilapidated. So now pest control companies must give the state proof that their air monitors work properly no more than 24 hours before every fumigation.
Companies already need to notify the state 24 hours before every fumigation. Now they also need to give a specific time that "aeration" will begin. That’s the time when they take off the tent and start to clear gas from the home.
INCREASING STATE INSPECTORS:
The Agriculture Department is increasing the number of inspectors trained to do surprise inspections at any home being fumigated. There will also be surprise inspections of the stewardship classes.
ENHANCES AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT’S ABILITY TO SUSPEND AND REVOKE LICENSES:
If any of these rules are violated the Agriculture Department now has more power to rapidly suspend or revoke the license of the offenders.
The Agriculture Department says it's already implementing some of these changes and started training. However, some of these changes will require legislative action. A bill is already in the works.
The first draft is expected to ready by next week.