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Andy PhD DABT, Toxicologist
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 137
Experience:  Board certified with 20 years in research or consulting
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Toxicology question for PhD DABT. I was wondering if you

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Toxicology question for Andy PhD DABT. I was wondering if you could tell me how toxic the termidor which is labeled fipronil, which i have the further breakdown if you need it, if how toxic it is, reason being, im so afraid it may be tracked into my home. we had a termite treatment and i worry about walking through the area of dirt as i dont think the pest company applied it correctly. I actually read where it turns into fipronil sulfinyl i think something like that which is 10 times as dang
Hello again,
Thanks for trusting your question with me. Can you tell me how it was applied and why you think it was applied incorrectly?
Take care,
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Sure no problems, our home was pretreated about 5 years ago. With Termidor before we poured the footers. I think same day or next day, the pest control sprayed it look like where the footers were dug also there was a big mound of dirt where the garage floor would be eventually leveled and poured but that remained uncovered for quite awhile while the house was being built and also footer was not poured in garage where sprayed. We also left a crawl space about 2-3 feet wide that footer never covered. I'm worried about all the tracking was done in regards ***** ***** Termidor and feel unsafe that it's all over my home and I am afraid to get very close to the base where footers were as I think I saw him spray not only in the footer but up and around. Also the fact that they sprayed /saturated the garage and that dirt was leveled on outside the garage. the dirt was leveled and pulled out of the garage where that big mound of dirt was inside where they sprayed the fipronil, so i worry about tracking it in from the garage as well, as after the garage concrete (it was poured about a year after sprayed or at least several months maybe 3-6) outside that is dirt.
Sorry for the delay getting back to you. So your concern is from the construction workers tracking in the Termidor while they were walking around the construction site, in the dirt, getting it onto the house floors? Didn't they cover up the footers with dirt where they sprayed? Are you also saying they moved the dirt mound that was in your garage to your front yard and just dispersed the dirt around? So the Termidor is not under the dirt, but on top of it? This pesticide is suppose to be placed underground not on top of the ground.
Take care,
I don't completely understand the amount of exposure you might have, but I think that it probably isn't going to be a big concern. The active ingredient, fipronil, is considered a pretty safe pesticide. It works by stimulating the GABA receptors on nerve cells, but it does this to the GABA receptors of insects way more then the receptors in humans. On top of that insects are very small, so what is a tiny amount for humans, is a huge amount for insects to be exposed to, so the amounts needed to kill insects is much less than for humans. So the amount that was applied was used to kill termites, not humans, thus only a small amount would have actually been applied. It may have looked like a lot of Termidor, but that is because is it mixed with inactive ingredients since trying to spray only a few milligrams of fipronil all around the footers or your entire house would be impossible, unless it was diluted into gallons of inactive ingredients. Plus fipronil cost money, so the applicators don't want to put more then is necessary to do the job, or they would be losing money. So the amount that was applied was determined by the amount needed to kill insects. Of that amount, you would be exposed to only a small percentage of the total amount. So your exposure should be pretty low.
The main symptoms that fipronil causes are seizures. So if you haven't experienced any seizures from it then I don't think you need to worry about it. Also, this is considered so safe, that it is also the active ingredient in Frontline, the liquid you put on the skin of cats and dogs every month to kill fleas and ticks. So in that case, cats and dogs are directly exposed and continue to be exposed for at least a month each month Frontline is used and the pets are not harmed.
So I don't think you have to worry about this, even if you are exposed to a small amount of it.
I hope this helps.
Take care,
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