Officials: No active chemicals found on Kings County school bus

The Fresno BeeMarch 10, 2014 

The children who got sick last month while riding in a school bus in rural Kings County apparently didn't get sprayed with dangerous pesticides, county officials said Monday.

No active chemical ingredients were found from samples taken from the bus, according to the Kings County Agricultural Commissioner's office.

The incident occurred Feb. 27 west of Stratford. Four children on the bus reported feeling ill and three were taken to a Hanford hospital. They were treated and released the same day.

Rusty Lantsberger, deputy agricultural commissioner/sealer for the county, said children reported a pungent odor, which is typically generated by a herbicide, and "they may have had some kind of reaction to that."

None of the chemicals used by the crop duster was restricted under California rules, he said.

"They did not drive through a cloud of pesticides," Lantsberger said. "There was a crop duster working in the area, but the bus driver never saw the bus get sprayed."

There were 23 students on the Central Union School District bus from Stratford Elementary and Central Elementary schools.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6166, or @beebenjamin on Twitter.

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