Dupuie and some of her neighbors collected more than 71 signatures — there are 121 units in the community — of residents who disagree with the board's decision.
"You know, you're messing with people's health, and not only do you introduce chemicals into each individual dwelling, you're also exposed to airborne chemicals and toxins for the entire six weeks it will take them to fumigate the complex…. We would like them to reconsider other methods because there's a lot of concern, and they refused to listen," Dupuie said.
Vikane is Dow Chemical Co.'s trademarked name sulfuryl fluoride, which is commonly used to eradicate termites.
Pesticide companies tent the building and fill it with the colorless, odorless gas. During the fumigation, a gas similar to tear gas is also released in the house to warn any occupants who may still be inside.
Sulfuryl fluoride is regulated by the state and federal governments. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation decided this year that the gas will be listed as a "toxic air contaminant" and will be reviewed to determine if current regulations are sufficient, department spokesman Glenn Brank said.
"Obviously, we wouldn't allow it to be used if it couldn't be used safely," Brank said.
But its listing does not necessarily mean that new, more stringent requirements will be imposed.
"The state is very proactive making sure the products out there are as safe as possible … for both the worker, the environment and the public," said Orange County Deputy Agricultural Commissioner Brian Danker said. "Part of our job is making sure everybody is safe out there."