BALTIMORE (WJZ) --- A Delaware family is now fighting for their lives after becoming seriously ill while on vacation in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
As Linh Bui reports, now federal investigators are trying to find out who's to blame.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, preliminary reports indicate levels of a highly toxic gas at the resort. A dream vacation quickly turns into a nightmare as a couple and their teenage sons become seriously ill during their stay at a luxury villa in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Justice Department is looking into whether the hazardous chemical methyl bromide was being used to spray for pets in a condo dangerously close to where the family was staying.
"This is a highly toxic gas that really shouldn't be used in residential areas and the consequences could be quite severe." Dr. Patricia Salber, host of 'The Doctor Weighs In', said.
According to reports, the 16 and 14-year-old boys suffered seizures and are in critical condition at a Philadelphia hospital. Their father is conscious, but cannot move. Their mother has been released.
Methyl bromide is used in farming and insect control in the United States. It's a highly restricted substance, but is not illegal. According to the EPA, high exposure to humans can cause central nervous system and respiratory failure.
"This chemical is being phased out in the U.S. and it's banned in some countries in the world because of its ozone depleting properties," Dr. Salber said. "I think that we need to think seriously about why we would use a substance this toxic as this for residential est when there are alternatives available."
In a statement, Terminix, the outside contractor hired to carry out pest control at the resort said. "We're committed to performing all work we undertake in a way that is safe for our employees, customers and the public."
The criminal investigation into Terminix's use of methyl bromide is still ongoing.
The resort where the family was staying still has not commented on the incident.
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