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Extermination company says they have made changes after use of wrong chemicals in office

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Posted at 8:51 PM, Sep 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-16 20:51:00-04

An extermination company accused of spraying the wrong chemicals to rid a Cleveland office of bed bugs, issued a statement Friday regarding the report.

Chuck Kettler, vice president of Central Exterminating Company, said they have cooperated with authorities and have made changes to ensure mistakes like those made at the Social Security Administration office are not repeated after it was reported an employee sprayed the wrong chemicals.

"We immediately contacted the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) after learning that there may have been problems with how one of our technicians treated the office for bed bugs in February," he said in a one-page statement.

RELATED: Wrong chemicals used to treat bed bugs, several employees reported sickness

A surveillance video, which was taken on Feb. 18 and made public Thursday, showed a Central Exterminating Company employee dousing the office inside the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building with improper chemicals, including a toxic dust that may have made several people sick. The employee can be seen spraying chairs and carpets with pesticides after hours. 

A day after the office was sprayed, several employees went home sick and the office closed early. 

An Ohio Department of Agriculture report from April, which was made public in late August , said those chemicals were improperly administered.

The investigation report did not include a fine or penalty for the extermination company, Kettler wrote. 

"But the report did say the application method seemed improper and that cross-contamination with other pesticides was found," the statement said. "The application method was in error, and we apologize for that. We now have re-trained all our technicians in proper application methods."

In regards to cross contamination, Kettler said the correct pesticide was used in the office, but small amounts of other pesticide were used found on swab samples that were used to test the office after the treatment.

"We believe that resulted from residual amounts of the other pesticides that incorrectly had not been cleaned from our equipment," he said. "While those residual amounts were very small, we want to guard against that happening again. So, we have purchased new equipment that will be used only for bed bug treatment."

To read the full statement issued by the company click here.