Growing concerns that ROZOL poisoning could be the cause of “camp cough” at Standing Rock camps

ROZOL found to be illegally used on Cannonball Ranch and Wilder Ranch

  • In April six bald eagles were found dead along with bison in the area

  • The EPA found that ROZOL had been used illegally in the area to exterminate prairie dogs

  • Chlorophacinone, more commonly known as ROZOL, is an anticoagulant rodenticide

Many of the water protectors in Standing Rock have found themselves suffering from what has been deemed as “camp cough,” or “DAPL cough.” Rumors have circulated the illness is from a deliberate poisoning conducted by Dakota Access, but there has been no substantial evidence to support the theory.

Those who have the camp cough find themselves suffering from a chronic cough, bloody noses, fatigue and some people have reported coughing up blood. The illness has been going around the camp for months as thousands of water protectors from around the world have passed through the camp sites to show support against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Quarantine

The Bismarck Tribune reported that the former Cannonball ranch of David Meyer, along with the Wilder Ranch to the south have both had buffalo quarantined after discovering the illegal use of Chlorophacinone, also known as ROZOL. The Cannonball Ranch was sold to Dakota Access by Meyer’s months ago for a reported $18 million.

The illegal use of ROZOL in the area dates back to April when six bald eagles and bison were found dead at the Wilder Ranch. The Environmental Protection Agency led an investigation into the deaths and found that over 40,000 pounds of ROZOL had been illegally used on 5,400 acres of land from both ranches.

ROZOL is commonly used to poison prairie dogs by placing the poison in their burrows. However, the investigation performed by the EPA discovered that ROZOL was not applied correctly, as the blue pellets were found all along the ground. Also, instead of going through and routinely gathering the dead prairie dogs, the bodies were left where they had died.

In August, reports of dead bison were still coming in. ROZOL kills the animals by causing them to bleed to death.

ROZOL Was Illegally Used On A 7,000 Acre Spread

It was discovered that ROZOL was illegally used on an 80-acre spread of the Cannonball Ranch out of a 7,000-acre spread. The majority was primarily used all along the Wilder Ranch where the six bald eagles were found dead.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are waiting for results of tests to confirm ROZOL as the cause of death for the six bald eagles. If ROZOL poisoning is confirmed, federal charges will likely be filed. Due to the “Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act,” there is a possibility of a $100,000 fine and up to a year in jail for each of the deceased eagles.

Adult buffalo from the ranches are now under a no-sale quarantine until September 1, but yearlings were released from the hold on January 1, of this year.

With this new information coming to light, many of the water protectors are wondering if the camp cough is not being caused by ROZOL poisoning.

What Is ROZOL

ROZOL is an oil concentrate that can be used to exterminate mice, rats, moles, muskrats, voles and vampire bats. It is described as an “anticoagulant rodenticide,” which inhibits the enzyme vitamin K epoxide reductase that normally reactivates vitamin K. Vitamin K is a critical factor for normal clotting factors.

One of the biggest problems with anticoagulant poisonings, such as ROZOL, is that victims remain asymptomatic. Meaning that they do not always produce or show any symptoms of a poisoning. Even when hypoprothrombinemia occurs, the patient can still show no signs of poisoning.

Hypoprothrombinemia is a blood disorder that causes a deficiency of prothrombin resulting with an impairment for blood clotting. The impaired blood clotting can then lead to a higher risk of bleeding, along with the gastrointestinal system, cranial vault, and superficial integumentary system. Hemorrhages can occur when high doses of anticoagulants are ingested.

Symptoms And Signs Of Poisoning

Those exposed to large doses of ROZOL can experience hematuria, (blood in the urine), nosebleeds, hematomata, (solid swelling of clotted blood within the tissue), bleeding gums, melena, (dark sticky feces containing partly digested blood), abdominal and back pain reflect hemorrhage in the abdominal and retroperitoneal tissues.

Weakness and fatigue can occur as a result of the anemia. Renal colic, a type of pain that comes from kidney stones, often causes complications of hematuria. Nasal and gastrointestinal hemorrhages have been the cause of death due to exsanguination, (the act of draining blood from a person or animal).

ROZOL poisoning in humans can occur from ingesting the poison or absorbing it through the skin. However, ROZOL does not cause a constant cough like what those suffering from camp cough have described and have many symptoms those with camp cough lack.

The anticoagulant drug made for humans Warfarin describes possible side effects as clotting due to not taking enough, or bleeding due to excessive anticoagulation, mainly in the gastrointestinal or intracerebral.

Heart.org recommends that you see a doctor if you are suffering from the following symptoms:

  • Severe headache, confusion, weakness or numbness

  • Coughing up large amounts of bright red blood

  • Vomiting blood

  • Bleeding that will not stop

  • Bright red blood in stool

  • Fall or injury to the head

  • Headache that is severe or unusual

Overall, it appears that ROZOL may not be the guilty party behind the camp cough, but there could be some who have been at camp who are suffering from ROZOL poisoning. If anybody who has been at camp is suffering from any of the above symptoms, it may not be a bad idea to seek medical attention and request to be checked for ROZOL poisoning.

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About Meko Haze

Meko Haze is an independent journalist by day... and an independent journalist by night.