Students hospitalized after being sickened by weed killer

TRENTON, OH (FOX19) - Several students at Edgewood Middle School were taken to the hospital Tuesday morning after falling ill by inhaling a weed killer.

"We were eating lunch and all of a sudden firefighters came in, and about 25 minutes later we had to evacuate to the high school,"said Seth Arvin, a student at the school.

About 11 students in  English class started complaining of dizziness, light headedness and headaches at around 10 a.m.

"A short time later a few from the neighboring classrooms started exhibiting some of those same symptoms," said Sgt. Monte Mayer, with the Butler County Sheriff's Office.

The school was evacuated as a precaution and students were sent to the nearby Edgewood High School.

In total, 47 students were treated. Five of them were transported to area hospitals as a precaution by emergency personnel. The others students were either taken to their family doctor or to the hospital by their parents, who were notified by the district.

"I think every parent would be worried no matter what, but I kind of thought everything was okay, or they would have been more urgent messages sent then what was sent," said Sue Joseph, a grandparent who came to pick up her grandson.

Hazmat crews suited up to get to the bottom of what was making students feel sick, then two hours into their investigation, administrators notified crews that pesticides were sprayed that morning around 8:00 am.
"A pest control company came this morning and sprayed the fields out here with some kind of a pest control, while the rooms over there -- the windows were open, so what we're thinking is that, that chemical and the smell of it went into the classrooms," said Butler County EMA Director Jeff Galloway.
School officials say the baseball field and the area around the football field were sprayed with pesticide Tuesday morning, which is routinely done three times a year.
"They receive treatment in the fall, winter and spring -- I think it's a normal practice within schools to treat certain areas," said John Thomas, of Edgewood City Schools.
"I don't believe it was a life threatening situation, just more of a precautionary situation," Galloway said.

The students were let back in the building after officials did some testing to make sure it was safe. The pesticide that was being used is called Momentum. It's used to treat annual and perennial broadleaf weeds.

Copyright 2011 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.