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17 people treated at Pearl City school after insecticide odor is detected

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Seventeen people — 14 students and three adults at Highlands Intermediate School — were treated this afternoon after the odor of the insecticide malathion was detected at the Pearl City school.

Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the city Department of Emergency Services, said all 17 were complaining of nausea, irritated throats and eyes and slight dizziness. Two other students under the age of 15 were taken in stable condition to a local hospital at the request of their parents, a school official said.

Amy Martinson, Highlands principal, said the entire school of nearly 1,000 students was moved to three air conditioned structures  — the school library, cafeteria and bandroom.

Fire Department spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig said the pesticide was being used about a half block away from the school, 1450 Hoolaulea St.

The Environmental Protection Agency has registered malathion as an insecticide for agriculture, residential gardens, public recreation areas, and in public health pest control programs since 1956.

 

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