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Is fumigation harmful for health?

Q: All members in my family have been coughing a lot lately. Does fumigation for mosquitoes in gardens pose any health threat to children, infants and other people living in the vicinity? The fumes do come into the house at times. What do these fumes/fog contain? The fumes smell of kerosene.

A:Fumigation is done with a variety of chemicals - too numerous for me to mention. They all have the potential to cause skin, eye and lung problems. It is therefore never a good idea to be in the fumigated area immediately after the fumigation is done for the reasons mentioned above. My suggestion is that you close the windows when fumigation is done outside your house and then open them 5-10 minutes later. You may still smell the chemicals, but I doubt they will cause problems at that time. An alternative is to use a mosquito repellent directly on your skin according to the instructions on the container.

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