Toxic Chemical Kills Tourists
This story featured last night on New Zealand ’60 Minutes’, hosted by Mike McRoberts, Sunday 8th May, 2011.
It is thought that the insecticide Chlorpyrifos, which is a crystalline organophosphate, is responsible for the mysterious deaths of seven tourists who have died similar deaths after staying at hotel rooms in Thailand.
Two New Zealanders died in February in Thailand, after visiting the city of Chiang Mai, and staying at the ‘Downtown Inn’. Sarah Carter and Amanda Eliason, both from New Zealand, died in Chiang Mai. The parents of the girls have been driving to have the situation investigated, and have been successful in getting New Zealand’s Mike McRoberts from ’60 Minutes’ to take up the challenge.
One New Zealander, Emma Langlands, who was part of the group holidaying in Thailand, has survived to tell the tale. She said that the hotel seemed clean, but that they had read a sign which warned that the place had been sprayed with insecticide.
Altogether, seven tourists have died in Thailand from the suspected insecticide poisoning: one Canadian, a British couple, and a Thai tourist guide.
New Zealand ’60 Minutes’ sent over a team to investigate things. One of their reporters secretly gained access to the rooms where the New Zealanders who died were staying. These rooms had been cleaned thoroughly immediately after the deaths by hotel staff only a day before the Thai authorities came in to inspect the premises for clues.
The ’60 Minutes’ reporter swabbed everything she could, including mattresses and places which might have escaped the cleaners, such as the inside of the air-conditioning unit. These swabs were brought back to New Zealand where they were tested and found positive for the insecticide Chlorpyrifos.
A United Nations scientist, Dr Ron McDowall, was sought by ’60 Minutes’ for his opinion on the matter. He thought that there was a strong possibility that the tourists had all died from exposure to Chlorpyrifos, which had probably been used to kill bed bugs in the hotel.
Chlorpyrifos is an extremely toxic insecticide which has been banned in many parts of the world. Some countries, such as New Zealand, still allow it to be used in the agricultural environment, but have banned its use for household insecticides which are sprayed inside.
Wikipedia say that Chlorpyrifos is advertised in Iran as a ‘safe’ poison to use in the domestic environment: If this is true, then Iranian citizens who use it are endangering their health. They may suffer heart problems, which the poor girls who died did, but they may get other degenerative disease from using this poison over time. Any of these diseases: cancer, arthritiis, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, memory loss, and other nervous dysfunctions could result from using Chlorpyrifos, or indeed, any other chemical insecticide, over a period of time.
Death From Insecticide: The situation of death occurring after the use of Chlorpyrifos would prove the point, too, that really, NO poison is safe: Because drug and chemical companies may claim one minute that one product or chemical is ‘safe’, while they can get away with it, but will change their story at a later date, after the damage is done and the whole of the world is wise to its effects. This scenario is repeated over and over, yet people are still duped into trying new potions, new chemicals, new insecticides and herbicides.
Wikipedia says that it was first manufactured by Dow Chemicals, which manufactured agricultural chemicals in New Zealand at New plymouth, including dioxin, and chemicals containing dioxin, such as 245T, or ‘agent orange’