STORY TIME LINE
of Friday, January 10, 2003 TRUGREEN Chem Lawn treats our
lawn for broadleaf and cinch bugs.
told him not to do anything until I took my dog out
and returned inside the house. He told me that after
the lawn had dried that it was perfectly safe, and
that it was so safe that he did not even use a mask.
He returned to his truck and I took my dog out.
facing away from him waiting for my dog, and I began
to cough and the dog started to wheeze. I turned to
see that the applicator had begun to spray only 15-18
feet away from me. I ran to the house coughing and my
evening I was very sick with nausea, burning throat
and sternal area, bad headache, and persistent cough.
My children complained of headaches and said they hurt
everyone was too ill to get out of bed. I could not stop
coughing, was short of breath and extremely tired. My
husband and children complained of headaches, stomach
pains, and loose stools. The windows were closed but the
chemicals were still getting in to our home. The dog
vomited a couple times and then was very still and would
not eat. I called my medical doctor and left a message.
husband calls Tru-Green, and asks for the information
about the chemicals that we all had been exposed to.
Company sends Material Data Safety Sheet for atrazine
the Poison Control Center and was told they don’t
still sick. Left another message on for a doctor to call
me. My children were still complaining of headaches and
dizziness. I contacted their doctor as well.
morning saw a doctor. My symptoms continued. My physician
wrote that I had been exposed to chemicals and gave me a
prescription for antibiotics and steroids.
a week I saw another doctor. I was then given an inhaler
of steroids. Still no blood work was done to test for
weeks after poisoning, contacted Center for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) and was referred to
(Florida’s) EPA to report poisoning. Reported with
someone in Dept. of Health – wrong person apparently.
Got lost in EPA for weeks.
I reported to work but was unable to complete my shift -
became symptomatic with dizziness, weakness and tremors.
Contacted Department of Health again and was referred to
the (Dept. of Agriculture) Department of Entomology and
Pest Control to investigate the chemicals and proper use
of them on the day that I was exposed. Left message.
Went back to doctor and was referred to lung specialist.
Had MSDS but no one knew how to get inert ingredients.
Lung doctor said my airway was reactive, and that I may
always have this problem.
experts on pesticides exposure at the University of South
Florida would not see me because they only see patients
that are referred by an attorney or by an insurance
a pesticide toxicologist. He told me that since it had
been several months after exposure, I was at a stage where
long-term effects had manifested themselves. Told that
there is very little that can be done to decontaminate a
Decided to leave Florida due to excessive spraying.
a call from state investigator the day before my children
and I were leaving Florida. He said the message just got
being away a month I began to feel a little better. My
children were not getting sick like when they were around
all of the pesticides spraying. They had lots of energy
again, and had no complaints of stomach pains, tiredness,
weakness or dizziness. By the third month I felt much
better and my tremors had stopped, but my airway reacted
to areas where chemicals were.
Received a letter from state investigator’s office that
they’d talked or met with TRUGREEN Chemlawn and that
it’s too late to collect a soil-sample or do on-site
returned to our home in Florida. Back two weeks when a few
lawns were sprayed with pesticides and my children and I
started to become symptomatic again. I worked a few shifts
and became dizzy and felt sick.
having trouble focusing at school and is symptomatic.
says he’s unaware of any pesticide activity on or around
out that pesticides were being sprayed within yards from
the school property. The men spraying do not speak much
English. I asked them what they where going to spray and
they said “no English.” How can they read the labels
for instructions to use these chemicals?
grounds manager says that weed killers and pesticides are
registered with the EPA, are safe to use and will not hurt
the children. Refuses not to spray during school hours.
Son is continually ill and is pulled from school to be
temporarily home schooled.
applicators spraying bushes while children are playing
less than a few feet away.
applicator placed a poison sign in a yard where 7 children
were playing. He was getting ready to treat the lawn with
the children still playing there. He told me that it was
“only weed killer and fertilizer granules, and they
won’t hurt the children.” Another neighbor witnessed
this applicator spray pesticides and not use granules.
next door neighbor had another pest service come to
service her lawn on a windy day. I asked the applicator
before he started not to spray because it would end up in
my yard and make us very sick. He told me he was doing his
job. He began to spray from a large nozzle. The mist was
blowing chemicals on to our property. I began filming him
through the window. He threw his hose down, came onto my
property and banged on my door and yelled at me to stop
filming him. Children were scared and crying.
out walking with my children and dog when I ran into an
applicator with a large hose hooked to a truck. She was
ready to spray a nature preserve with herbicides (20 ft)
away from us. I informed her that she would poison us if
she sprayed with us there, and that I would report her if
she started spraying before we left. She replied, I
can’t tell everyone. The number is on the truck out
front, go ahead.
cousin was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma at 9 years old and
died at thirteen. The cancer that killed her was a type caused
by poison exposure, such as pesticides, as a child. I will
remember Amanda and every child that I have seen over the past
15 years who has died from cancers linked to pesticide
exposures. I will try to educate others to help prevent this
from happening to every child that I can. A few weeds or a
couple of bugs are not worth becoming ill or dying over!
Manatee County, Florida