A family pet caused a haz-mat scare over the weekend in Cedar Rapids. The owners of the dog brought it to the vet clinic, saying the pooch had gotten into their garden chemicals and they think it ate some of a pesticide product.
Workers at the Eastern Iowa Veterinary Specialty Center began to pump out the contents of the animal’s stomach, but when they noticed a fishy smell, they began checking and got worried that the odor could indicate the presence of phosphine. That chemical, often used as a pesticide, is very toxic when it’s inhaled.
Firefighters and paramedics came to the animal clinic and checked more than a dozen people, and at least one went to an emergency room to be checked. Tests found no trace of the fumigating gas, and a fire battalion chief says it will dissipate fast as long as ventilation is good.