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Household chemicals hospitalize family

Published On: Sep 28 2013 07:46:38 PM CDT
Dangerous household waste
BRISTOL, Va. -

We all have old cleaning supplies and chemicals stored in our house.

A few days ago one family was sent to the hospital after old insecticide started to leak.

It didn't take long for Ann McReynolds and her husband to realize something was wrong during a visit to their mom's house.

"I don't think I can actually tell you exactly how strong," she said, "It burned our eyes it made us dizzy."

They thought they smelled a gas leak in the house and called 911.

The chemical, chlordane, burned the bottom off the barrel it was stored in, then leaked out.

The chlordane was used to kill termites and forgotten about.

McReynolds told us now they're searching the house for other old chemicals.

"I had never been scared," she said. "I'd never thought about it. I will from now on."

Bristol Fire Department Lieutenant Richard Thompson responded to the accident.

"This is a common problem," Thompson said. "We all have things in our houses, chemicals, cleaning supplies, and different things, insecticides, to put out termites or different bugs."

Even safe household items like bleach or paint can become dangerous if they aren't used within a year, he told us.

"The recommendation we're gonna give, is you get a 5 gallon bucket, put them in it, then seal the top and take them to the waste site," Thompson said.

Do not throw chemicals in the trash, he said, because they could contaminate groundwater near the landfill.

"Leave the house, call 911, and then let us come in and handle it," Thompson told us. "We'll look at it, we're much more equipped with specialized equipment to see what it is and also to properly handle it."

The city will have a pick up day for household chemicals on Nov. 9.

Click here for more information.