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Probe of Woman's Death Focuses on Pesticide Gas

March 26, 1997

A Toluca Lake woman who had been in a coma for more than two weeks died Tuesday, as state investigators tried to determine if she was gassed by a controversial pesticide used on a neighboring building connected to her home.

Sandra Mero, 36, died at St. Joseph's Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Mero had been in critical condition since she was found unconscious in her home March 8, said Bill Walker, a family friend.

Walker, an environmentalist, has been involved in the controversy over methyl bromide, a poisonous gas widely used to sterilize soil of crop-eating pests, and to fumigate buildings to kill insects.

A Burbank company has said the gas was used to fumigate a structure connected to her house by pipes.

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