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School Pesticide Incidents from Around the Country

A Selection of Student and School Staff Poisonings

Share your pesticide exposure incident by filling out Beyond Pesticides' Pesticide Incident Record (PIR) form. PIRs provide a weighty and powerful testimony in support of reforming the nation's pesticide policies and practices. You may also want to learn more about What To Do In A Pesticide Emergency.

NORTHEAST

West Hartford, Connecticut: A teacher, Joan Dillon, was exposed to pesticides while working at King Philip School. The pesticide Dursban (chlorpyrifos) was applied by a commercial pest control applicator to control roaches inside the school. The pesticide had been applied in various locations throughout the school on a regular basis, from every two weeks to every two months. Dermal and inhalation exposure to the chemical cause lead her to feel extremely ill. As a result of the exposure, she experienced the original incident of contact dermatitis. She was lead to believe that the pesticide was safe. A medical professional diagnosed her symptoms as pesticide poisoning. No notification was given that pesticides were being regularly applied at the school She is now chemically sensitized due to the pesticide poisoning. (Contact Joan N. Dillon at 860-521-3411.)

Danielson, Connecticut: A student and his family requested that his school stop using harmful pesticides on the high school's football field and surrounding grounds, which caused the student to become ill, resulting in his inability to attend school for a total of eight weeks. The student was then placed on a Section 504 Plan, which provided the student the option for staying home when he felt ill from chemicals and that tutoring would be provided. However, the student and his family complained that the tutoring was inadequate and that the student missed out on other educational opportunities and social events at the school. The student's family filed a complaint under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by a recipient of Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities. The U.S. Department of Education, Region I, stated, "The ADA has essentially extended the anti-discrimination prohibitions embodied under Section 504 to all state and local governmental entities, including public school systems." In its letter to resolve the complaint, the school district attached an addendum to the students Section 504 Plan, stating that the school district would use alternatives to using toxic pesticides that cause the student to become ill. (Contact info not available.)

Burlington, Massachusetts: The Burlington Board of Health Environmental Engineer, Todd Dresser, reports that after several pesticide odor complaints and the continued misapplication of pesticides in the high school made officials became concerned about the potential exposure risk to the building occupants. Poor housekeeping, improper food storage in the classrooms) created some of the insect problems the school was having - which was addressed by the school staff applying pesticides. Todd wrote up in his report that "While inspecting pesticide odor complaints, it became apparent that some of the applicators had not fully reviewed the pesticide label and application instructs. In several cases, it appeared that the applicator had thought that if a little pesticide was good, then a lot must be great…Th maintenance staff was observed applying pesticides inside the high school that were labeled for outdoor application only…[T]he physical and chemical qualities of the product suggested that the material would persist in the building and would not quickly dissipate. As a result, it is possible that some occupants may have been exposed to elevated concentrations of this pesticide…A final and continuing observation is the failure to post all the necessary state notifications prior to and after all pesticide applications within the schools." (Contact: Todd H. Dresser, Environmental Engineer, Burlington Board of Health, 29 Center Street, Burlington, MA 01803, 781-270-1956 or tdresser@burlmass.org.)

Westport, New York: After first being exposed to DDT in kindergarten, a 14 year old boy by the name of Edward Barnett was again exposed to pesticides at his middle school. The school's janitor found an old can of Raid and proceeded to spray it on windowsills for cluster flies. Many students suffered symptoms of exposure and were out of school for several days after. Edward now suffers chronic fatigue, asthma, and loss of concentration and coordination. He also had to undergo a sauna-detox program. (Contact Edward Barnett 518-962-4708.)

Greece, New York: On May 10, 2001, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services closed a day care center in Greece, NY after children were exposed to an insecticide. The day care center, Childtime Children's Center, was issued an immediate suspension of the center's license, displacing up to 92 children. A spokesman for the Office of Children and Family Services in Albany, Bill Van Slyke, stated that state officials received a report that the building had a serious ant problem and therefore on April 30, officials from the agency's Rochester office served a violation notice to Childtime for the ant problem. During a routine follow-up check of the center on May 9, state officials noticed pesticides had been sprayed. Van Slyke stated that Childtime was ordered to remove the children from the treated rooms and to thoroughly clean those rooms. However, in the afternoon of May 10, the children had not been removed from the treated rooms and cleanup was not to the state's satisfaction, resulting in a suspension of the center's license. (Contact Lynn Braband at the New York State Community IPM Program at Cornell University.)

Locust Valley, New York: A 45 year old woman has brain damage and severe chemical sensitivity from exposure to pyrethroid insecticides (Demon, active ingredient cypermethrin, and Demand, active ingredient lambda-cyhalothrin) that were applied twice a month in the school where she worked during the fall of 1999. She had an accommodation agreement with her employers that no such pesticides would be applied without her advance notification. This did not happen and she suffered symptoms of poisoning and neurological damage. She did not learn of the applications until the following April when she had residues analyzed, which showed heavy concentrations of these pesticides. Her doctors have told her that the damage is irreversible and a neurophysiological evaluation estimated a loss of 24 points in her IQ. (Contact information not available.)

Brooklyn, New York: The New York Daily News reported that ten second-graders, a teacher, and two other adults were poisoned by the pesticide malathion on September 14, 2000 after a bottle of the pesticide broke on the floor of their classroom. The school, Public School 21 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, was evacuated. One student reported that it smelled really bad and they had to cover their noses. A spokeswoman for the Board of Education, Pam McDonnel, stated that the incident occurred when the teacher opened a storage closet in the classroom and the glass bottle filled with ten ounces of malathion fell off a shelf. Margie Feinberg with the Board of Education said, "We don't know how it got there or why it was in the closet, and the superintendent has launched a major investigation into it. That insecticide is not permitted anywhere inside our school facilities." Several children vomited and ten children, the teacher and two other school employees were treated and released from the Brookdale University Hospital. (Contact Pam Hadad Hurst with NY Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides at 518-426-8246 or nycap@crisny.org.)

New Rochelle, New York: A student attending a local private school where pesticides are currently being used to prevent West Nile Virus falls ill for several days. While her daughter continues to show symptoms of pesticide exposure, the child's mother tries to get the school to stop the harmful pesticide use and implement integrated pest management.(contact Ellen Weininger - wweininger@aol.com.)

Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania: A teacher continues to have numerous health effects due to routine monthly spraying that occurred at the school where she taught. One of the routine treatments occurred while she was in her classroom preparing for school to open. The commercial applicator sprayed pesticides in the halls and rooms of the school, including her classroom. As a result of this exposure, she has become intolerant to chemicals, has had muscle, bone and joint problems, and reproductive and immune system dysfunction. She is now disabled and no longer able to work. Dr. Zamm of Kingston New York identified the cause of her illness to be related to pesticide exposure while at school. (Contact Jane Thomassen at 570-842-1945.)

College Park, Maryland: A teacher was exposed to pesticides while teaching. The application occurred right out side the window of the room she was teaching in. Several people, including her students complained of health problems. She states that her whole life has been altered by this incident. She continues to experience difficulty standing, tightness of chest, burning in lungs, and reduced lung capacity. (Contact Lynn Penner at 619-488-4026).

Baltimore, Maryland: Elevated levels of arsenic in one of Winfield Elementary School's two wells have been found, with the cause traced to the use of arsenic-based pesticides applied around the wells. The contaminated well tested arsenic levels at 23 parts per billion (ppb) - well above the proposed standard of 10 ppb. The contaminated well was capped, but forced to turn back on within hours to keep up with the demand of the school. They are using a "lead and lag" system, which means that the safe well runs until it can no longer provide enough water for the school, and then the arsenic-contaminated well switches on, pumping water into the holding tank, where it is diluted by water from the safe well. Acting facilities director and construction supervisor Raymond Prokop said that the school system is awaiting cost estimates on drilling a new well. (see The Baltimore Sun, October 11, 2001, Jennifer McMenamin, "Arsenic found in 1 well at Winfield Elementary.")

Glenwood, Maryland: Veronika is the mother of two children who unknowingly became hyper-sensitive to chemicals due to unintentional exposure to pesticides when they were young. One of her daughters experiences migraine headaches, respiratory problems, fluid draining from her ears, right hand tremors, low body temperature, and dizziness after exposure to a variety of chemicals. Veronika's other daughter exhibits fatigue, concentration disturbance, muscle aches, increased urinary frequency, diarrhea, rash, and decreased body temperature from a variety of different chemical exposures as well. After the children's doctor declared that they should not participate in school activities when experiencing such symptoms, Veronika took the children out of school. (Contact Veronika Carella at 410-442-0270.)

SOUTHEAST

Charleston, South Carolina: On November 12, 1998 pesticide was mistakenly sprayed into a classroom instead of into the building's foundation, soaking carpets and desks where students sat the next morning. The desk, chairs, walls and floors were saturated with a termiticide resulting in the children's clothing, skin and book bags becoming contaminated. More than two months had passed before the school attempted to do a thorough cleanup after the spill. Neither the school nor the school district had any formal policies or procedures in place to deal with such an accident. Consequently, the school did not notify parents until February, 1999. Students and staff used the two classrooms day after day for two and a half months before a parent found out about the misapplication. A schoolteacher allowed the students to clean up the chemical with their bare hands, because the teacher was unaware that the sticky substance was an extremely toxic substance. One student's mother reports that her daughter's shoes were damp from the pesticides sprayed in the classroom and, not knowing, she continued to wear those shoes every day (she has kept the shoes in a plastic bag since as evidence of the exposure). Furthermore, one particular student developed a growth on her right breast that doctors attributed to chemical exposure. Another student already had an allergy to Dursban and resulting from his exposure, he has experienced hypersensitivity to chemicals. At least 40 children were affected by the pesticide exposure. Some are still ill. The most common health effects experienced were aggravated asthma and coughing, weight loss and loss of appetite, rashes, peeling hands and feet, headaches, dizziness and nausea. The parents continue to monitor the exposed students' health, as the school board has not accepted accountability for the students' ailments. (For more info contact Charlotte Jenkins at 330-379-8679), Luisa Sadeghy at 843-971-0783 or luisa5924@aol.com or Debbie Riddick 843-849-0979.)

Charleston, South Carolina: Students and teachers at St. Andrews Elementary School have continued to complain of headaches, vomiting, and hyperactive, anxiety disorders for several years that they attribute to mold, dust, and chemical fumes. Parents and teachers complained to the school board many years ago, resulting in very little change in the school's environment. Small efforts have been made to investigate the reason behind such long-term illness within the teacher and student population. The school's air conditioners were found to be exceptionally moldy, clogging the filters with dust and mildew. One parent has proceeded to remove her child from school for a total of 52 days as a result of the child's particular sensitivity. Students' anxiety and inability to concentrate have prompted a local doctor to blame chemicals and mold within the school's air on many diagnosed cases of Attention Deficit Disorder. (Contact info not available.)

Lexington, South Carolina: Cindy Popp was exposed to routine Dursban Pro spraying at both her apartment complex and the school in which she teaches. She was not warned of the pesticide use at her school and, as a result, she experienced sever headaches, facial numbness and nausea r 2-3 days after the exposure. She has become increasingly sensitized to chemical exposure and was able to get the school to discontinue pesticide use altogether. However, the apartment complex continues its use of Dursban Pro. (Contact Cindy Popp (803)996-0930 or cpopp911@aol.com)

Columbia, South Carolina: A teacher who has pesticide sensitivity from being exposed to pesticides over the past 20 years requested that her school stop spraying pesticides and now her health has greatly improved. The pesticide spraying in another school district also affected her adopted son. Since spraying has stopped at his elementary school, his health is much better. (Contact Beyond Pesticides.)

Asheville, North Carolina: Julie Payne, an elementary school teacher at the Oakley Elementary School, noticed that several students and some teachers were showing similar symptoms that concerned her. She starting asking questions and what she found out made her transfer her own children to another school and quit her job. Julie discovered that the school was using an insecticide fogger, Kill Zone, in the school. When she informed the school's administrators, they seemed unconcerned. On January 19, 2001 the school distributed a memo to the teachers stating that the school is "periodically spraying for bugs. Be sure to place anything consumable in a covered container before you leave each day. [The school will] generally try to spray on Friday, but sometimes it is during the week." Soon after the memo, Julie noticed two of her students complaining of chest pains and others had stomachaches, skin rashes and respiratory problems. She tried to get some answers from the school, but got the run around, first they denied te application in the first place, then she proved that the foggers actually were used. Julie thinks that the classrooms were not properly ventilated and that the continual use of the foggers (8 of 24 canisters that were "checked-out" by the assistant custodian, were used) resulted in residues on the desks and tables. (Contact: Julie Payne, read her full story at http://www.getipm.com/our-loved-ones/stories/school-ashville.htm.)

Evans, Georgia: A daycare worker was continually being exposed to Dursban, active ingredient chlorpyrifos, as the school hired a contractor that sprays the chemical twice a month. She has developed symptoms that her doctors call Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She has also had severe liver problems. (Contact crenick@ratedg.com.)

Key Largo, Florida: Several teachers were exposed to pesticides while at work. The pesticides used were MBI Fiber Fresh, Saga, Tempo II, and Malathione. Five teachers are now diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. They stated that there was inadequate ventilation in the rooms where the treatment occurred resulting in dermal, inhalation, ingestion (residue on utensils) as the major routes of exposure. (Contact Dana Ellen Hope at 305-664-0178 or Carole Rutt at 305-852-7770 or Ruth Howell at 305-453-9950 or Corinne Hughes at 305-853-0628.)

Coco Beach, Florida: A student, already sensitive to certain chemicals, was exposed to a pesticide while at school. Her mother thinks that her sensitivity started from the exposure to pesticides at home. After her exposure, the student experienced a range of symptoms from bronchial spasms, bronchitis, asthma, flu-like symptoms to affecting her nervous system. When questioning the school about the chemicals she could have been exposed to, the school said the pesticide used was "safe." The student's mother believed the school would never use anything that would harm a child. (Family wishes to remain anonymous.)

Sarasota, Florida: Ann Chrisman was a pre-K teacher in a school building recently remodeled due to poor ventilation and microbial contamination of fungal growth in the classrooms. However, even after the remodeling of the classroom, Chrisman and the other teachers began to experience flu like symptoms such as aching, tightness in chest, fatigue, burning eyes and rashes. Chrisman also remembers the continuous spraying of pesticides throughout the school year that she believes made the teachers' symptoms worse. The faculty began to label their symptoms as "sick building syndrome" and the school responded by using On 1, a deodorizer, on the air conditioning system. Also the school used Malador, an odor counteractant chemical. After exposure to these harsh chemicals that had been applied quite carelessly, Chrisman grew even more ill. She had to leave her job and was eventually diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivity. After attempting to return to her school for the second time, her symptoms returned and she had to abandon her teaching job altogether. (Contact info not available.)

Assumption Parish, Louisiana: In August 1994, the Assumption Parish school officials closed Pierre Part middle and primary schools after a misapplication of a flea pesticide containing the active ingredient Lindane. Although the chemical is not supposed to be used indoors, the school custodian sprayed the pesticide in 14 temporary classrooms. A few parents reported medical complaints. The Lindane that was purchased by the school was not registered in the state. Also, the operator of the pesticide was required to be licensed, when he was not. (Source: Ferstel, Vicki. 1994. "2nd Pierre Part School Closed After Pesticide Contamination. The Advocate. August 30. Baton Rouge, LA.)

MIDWEST

Fort Scott, Kansas: A teacher was exposed to several pesticides that were applied in the school building. The school janitor did the routine spraying for cockroaches. The teacher reported that as soon as she opened her office door the fumes from the pesticides overcame her. She stated that the school janitor sprayed again a week later and that the smell of the pesticides was very strong in all parts of the school. She became chemically sensitized from this particular pesticide-poisoning incident. The Kansas Department of Agriculture conducted n investigation, which they found many "inappropriate actions," but nothing illegal. Medical tests conducted showed pesticide poisoning. Since the incident, she has tried, repeatedly, to return to work, but has suffered severe reactions each time. In spite of her health problems, the school district refuses to stop spraying pesticides. She has filed worker's compensation, but it has been denied twice. She is concerned for the kids in the school who have no idea why the don't feel well. After that incident that made her sick, many students complained of headaches, chest pains, rashes, allergy symptoms, and some asthmatic students had to bring their breathing machines to school. A teacher's aide was transferred to the high school because she couldn't breathe in the school building. (Contact Linda Baker at 316-223-6734 or eljaybaker@terraworld.net)

Lake in the Hills, Illinois: A mother is trying to reach an agreement with her son's school district over their use of pesticides. Her son has neurological problems that are aggravated when pesticides are applied on school grounds. (anonymous)

Litchfield, Illinois: A pesticide drift incident occurred at the Litchfield Middle School by a negligent pesticide applicator, causing 100 students, teachers and parents to become sick in May 1998. Two children required hospital attention. (Russel Schnitzer, Wisconsin Strategic Pesticide Information Project, 608-294-9026, schnitze@chorus.net.)

Walcott, Iowa: A twelve-year-old boy that attends the Walcott Jr. High School has had severe headaches and bouts of vomiting about twice a month and sometimes twice a week. His parents always thought it was due to stress in school because in the summer when he is not attending school, he would not get the headaches or vomit. A boy attending a grade school in Blue Grass, part of the same school district, Scott County Community Schools, came home from school with a severe rash. Due to health concerns, the parents of these two boys called the school district and were told that all the schools within the district spray pesticides, although on different schedules. Some schools, they were told, spray once a month and some spray once a week. The pesticide application made at the grade school coincide with the exact week that the boy came home with the severe rash. The parents are not only concerned about their children's health and exposure to pesticides at school, but are also concerned for other parents in their community schools who may not be aware of the schools spraying the chemicals. (Contact Ms. Yakish at M.Yakish@Worldnet.com.)

Lewisburg, Ohio: Beginning in 1991, a mother noticed that her son was sleeping a lot, had nose bleeds, headaches, pasty skin, dark circles under his eyes when he returned to school after summer break. After talking with other parents of children at the same school, who talked of more severe symptoms, she realized there was a problem. Parents noticed that the children had more extreme symptoms on a Tuesday that was later correlated with a pesticide application. The pesticide applicator was spraying chemicals every month a half hour before school began. Later she found out that the children were exposed to pesticides at a school only open for two years. NIOSH was called in to cleanup the pesticides in the school and stated that the school was the worse one ever tested. Dursban and Chlordane (although banned for several years before the building was ever built) were found in the air filter. The children were taken out of the school, some placed in different schools and some were provided home schooling. All should improvements once removed from the treated buildings. Some children are reported to have permanent damage and some families sold their homes and moved to a different school district. (Contact Pam Apple at 937-962-4705 or applenet@infinet.com.)

St. Louis, Missouri: On April 24, 2002, several students were sent to the nearby hospital after a wasp spray was used at the Belvins Elementary School. A total of 36 students were sent to the hospital to be checked out, nine were sent immediately by ambulance. The previous day, a number of fourth and fifth grade students complained of breathing problems during their P.E. class. A wasp pesticide is expected to be the cause of the initial health complaints, asthmatic and allergic symptoms, the students were having. It is believed that the other students paniced and were scared and were sent to the hospital as a precaution. (Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reporter Heather Ratcliffe, 618-659-3637 or hratcliffe@post-dispatch.com.)

Bolivar, Missouri: Marie O'Hara attended Southwest Baptist University and lived in the university's dormitories for three years. During these three years Marie experienced such symptoms as irritability, dizziness, red ears, numbness of arms, uncoordinated, nausea, muscle cramping, and lethargy. Although Marie could not pinpoint the cause of her health problems, she decided to leave school the summer before her senior year and work instead. The following year, Marie returned to the university and within one month, Marie was exposed to pesticides. Her acute symptoms were headache, numbness over her entire body, swollen eyes, muscle spasms, upper and lower gastrointestinal disturbances, chest pain, and a burning respiratory tract. Marie finally was able to identify her original symptoms with pesticide exposure. Her current symptoms were so disabling that she was unable to complete her work at the university. The administration promised to terminate all pesticide spraying during business hours, but failed to do so. Marie was, once again, exposed to pesticide spray while paying a parking ticket in the school's administrative building. Overall, the cumulative effects of her pesticide exposure have resulted in disabling neurological damage and hypersensitivity to odors. Unfortunately, these problems have been diagnosed as permanent. (For more info, contact Thrasher & Associates (818)366-9625.)

SOUTHWEST

Hidalgo County, Texas: A Texas elementary school was evacuated and shut down for a week in May, 2005 after insecticides that were sprayed on a nearby cotton field drifted onto the school property and sickened students and staff members. The chemicals sprayed contained the active ingredients lambda-cyhalothrin, a synthetic pyrethroid, and dimethoate, an organophosphate. Dozens of students at San Carlos Elementary School were sickened by the exposure and experienced symptoms of nausea and skin and breathing irritation. Over 550 other students and staff members also came in contact with the chemicals, reports . The Texas Department of Agriculture is currently investigating whether the farmer who sprayed the chemicals is at fault. (See Daily News story and full story reported by KGBT4 News).

Tierra Amarillo, New Mexico: A boy is sick and must stay home and out of school because of pesticides used in his school. The boy has suffered from asthma attacks, flu like symptoms, headaches, stomachaches, dizziness, and loss of appetite since the initial exposure to pesticides while attending his school. His parents took him out of school and his health improved. Because of financial reasons, his parents are having difficulties in working full time and home schooling their son. (Due to a pending lawsuit, contact information is confidential.)

Abilene, Texas: Lisa Tuttle is concerned about the children attending the local public schools. The school district is continuing to apply Dursban (active ingredient chlorpyrifos) in the school while the children are present. Her daughter as well as children of 10 other families are experiencing health problems she believes is a result of the pesticide exposure. Symptoms include headaches, nausea, rashes, aching joints, anxiety, severe depression, and seizures. She reports that the last time Dursban was applied in the school was March 11, 2002. Dursban is currently undergoing a phase-out (as of December 31, 2001 all Dursban products can no longer be sold, but the products can continue to be used until all existing stock is used up) because of the extraordinary risk the chemical poses to children. (Contact Lisa Tuttle at 915-793-9624 or lisa.tuttle@worldnet.att.net.)

Phoenix, Arizona: On January 28, 1986, Melody Baker say the Palm Lane Elementary School spraying the athletc field while her daughters third-grade P.E. class ran around the track. She immediately stopped the applicator and found that he was spraying Vertac Formula 40, a phenoxy herbicide containing the active ingredient 2,4-D, to kill clover on the fields. That night her daughter suffered a severe asthma attack, her eyes burned and she had a headache, which Melody suspects is a result of the chemical exposure. Eight months later again, the herbicide was being sprayed while students were at school. After doing her own investigation, she discovered that several other children experience symptoms. Once educated about the toxicity and hazards of the chemical, school district banned the herbicide from being used on school property. (Source: Greene, Terry. 1987. "Grounds for Complaint." New Times. May 13-19, pps 22-35.)


WEST

Fontana, California: A young girl died from a pesticide exposure in 1998. She laid down on her school's field during softball practice and died shortly thereafter. The Fontana Unified School District was using pesticides according to label directions; no misuse was reported or suspected. The girl was Class President for two years at her high school, a cheerleader, and an all-star softball player. There are seven dead children within a mile of her house, which her mother thinks is linked to organophosphate pesticide poisoning. The girl's brother has been diagnosed with the same heart defect that caused his sister's death after he was exposed to pesticides in his classroom. When the boy was in kindergarten, the school had installed two fly sprayers in his classroom that went off every 15 minutes. The boy is now extremely sensitive to chemicals. When he is exposed to pesticides he has an irregular heartbeat, his glands swell, and he develops rashes over his body. He is now homeschooled by his mother. (This family wishes to remain anonymous.)

Ventura, California: On November 8, 2000, students, staff and parents arriving at Mound School for school were exposed to Lorsban 4ETM (chlorpyrifos), which had drifted from the lemon orchard across the street from the school onto school property. The grower was applying the pesticide with a speed sprayer/air blaster at 7:30 a.m. as students were on their way to school. The County Agriculture Commissioner (CAC) was called, and the application was stopped at approximately 8:15 a.m. Both staff and parents reported seeing a foul-smelling "fog" drifting across the street and over to the school. Students were kept inside for the day and the outdoor play equipment and lunch tables were subsequently washed down. The following weekend the grower again used the same pesticide by the same application method, this time observed by three CAC employees who reported no drift. A parent on site, however, observed the same smell at the beginning of the application, and when she returned three hours later the smell permeated the entire campus. On the following Tuesday, more swabs were taken for the lab analysis, this time some from desk and classroom surfaces in the rooms closest to the grove. These swabs were collected by a private individual, at the request of the school district, and came back positive for residue. Almost 40 individuals on-site during the initial drift incident reported symptoms ranging from dizziness, blurry vision, nausea, chest tightness, and, in some children, on-going diarrhea. Two children were sent home because of symptoms of pesticide exposure. (Contact Community and Children's Advocates Against Pesticide Poisoning (CCAAPP) at ccaapp4u@aol.com or 805-987-7305.)

Sonora, California: A mother of an 8 year girl recently diagnosed with Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma(brain tumor), expresses deep concern for her daughter's and her community's health, as other children and adults in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas are suffering from brain tumors or other cancerous growths on their bodies. Because their town is so small, but incidents of brain cancer are so high, the mother believes that the cancer can be linked to pesticides or other chemicals used in the wooded area. She suggests the possible link between her community's termite problem and the cancer-causing termiticide chlordane that is used in her community. Also, she suggests that chemicals are frequently used to mine, blast and, separate minerals in the town as well. She is in the process of investigating and taking action against this serious problem. (For more info contact Marjorie Thoman-Lomas at 209-588-0188).

Woodland Hills, California: A teacher was exposed to pesticides that were applied for argentine ants at her school. The teacher stated that there were multiple sprayers using different treatments. Outdoor pesticide applications drifted inside. Applications made inside the school also occurred even though there was no ventilation inside. The teacher stated that two others are seriously ill and two clerks are unable to work because of repeat illnesses. (Contact information not available.)

Arroyo Grande, California: Annie Steele is a substitute teacher that was called in to work in February 2001. As she was arriving, along with the students, she noticed that an herbicide was being applied on the school grounds. She found out that Round-Up, a product containing the active ingredient glyphosate, was used. No one in the school received prior-notice of the application. Annie is chemically sensitive. As a result of the exposure, she complained of itchy skin and eyes and nose bleeds. This is not the first time she saw a pesticide being applied while students were in the treatment area. She states that while substitute teaching at another school, the school was spraying a pesticide in the cafeteria while students were in line. (Contact: Annie Steele at annies@slownet.org.)

California: A teacher working in the California public school system for 36 years, has severe problems with pesticides being used at her school. The teacher claims that her reactions are more severe than most. She claims that 50% of her students have said they have headaches, 50% reported being extremely tired, 65% said they were in a bad or depressed mood, and 25% said they had burning eyes and/or sore throats during the week following a pesticide application of Tempo 20WP (20% cyfulthrin) (information obtained from the County Department of Agriculture Investigation Report). The application was legal as per label information. No notice was provided. The school refused to inform her on several occasions even with a specific face verbal and written request she made due to her pesticide sensitivity. School management expressed concern to her that if notices were posted on doors leading into the cafeterias and other areas around campus, panic might result over the kids being exposed to pesticides. (Contact Stephen Tvedten at Safe2Use at 616-677-2850 or info@safe2use.com.)

Pahoa, Hawaii: Seven students and two school staff were sent to the hospital after being exposed to a pesticide that drifted from a neighboring farm onto the Pahoa Intermediate and High School property. The students and staff complained of dizziness and nausea. The farmer was spraying malathion. (See The Honolulu Advertiser, October 13, 2001, Hugh Clark, "Insecticide sickens Pahoa students.)

Mukilteo, Washington: A teacher complains of constant spraying of numerous pesticides and other chemicals throughout her school. The teacher exhibits serious symptoms such as sural, sensory, and median nerve abnormalities, decreasing cognitive skills, and memory loss. Other employees are growing increasingly sick and some have died over the years from, what the teacher asserts, chemical exposure. The teacher suspects that Ramsey carpet cleaner and Dursban TC combined are the reasons for sickness in the school. The teacher was assigned to extra duties due to excessive absentees in staff and she eventually resigned when her symptoms combined with too much work began to wear on her. (For more info contact Jennifer Howell (206) 583-0655 or jhowell@triangleassociates.com)