More on Environmental Health Hazards: Herbicides

Readers share feedback on MOTHER EARTH NEWS NO. 31 Bits and Pieces topic of the environmental health hazards of herbicides.

| November/December 1975

MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers share feedback on the Bits and Pieces topic of herbicides in MOTHER EARTH NEWS NO. 31, and talk of personal stories and concerns about the environmental health hazards of herbicides.  


We're glad to see that MOTHER is bringing the problem of defoliants to the attention of the public (Bits and Pieces, MOTHER EARTH NEWS NO. 31).

Our family was sprayed with herbicides in 1969, during a watershed management program here in Arizona, and we're still battling the ill effects of the poisoning. They include headaches, eye irritation and infections, convulsions, severe edema, lymphocytosis, allergic reactions, unusual tiredness, inability to concentrate, loss of feeling in the fingers and toes, extreme sensitivity to heat, light, and noise, and many other symptoms.

At the time of the aerial spraying, our family of six ranged in age from five months to adult . . . and, afterward, our youngest son was not expected to live. He repeatedly went into convulsions and stopped breathing in his sleep. Even now, at the age of six, he can't be treated like other children. For example, a single tetanus shot must be administered in installments, and other inoculations must be handled the same way. We're still in the process of suing Dow Chemical for manufacturing the poisons, and the U.S. Forest Service for using them in our area.

Needless to say, we're very much aware of the herbicide problem (see MOTHER's reply to Dennis Wiehl on page 136 of issue No. 34 for a comprehensive statement) and hope, to arouse the public's fear of these chemicals so that they'll be permanently banned as too dangerous to use. We really must all stop patronizing businesses and companies which profit from the sale and promotion of herbicides and pesticides. This is the only reliable way to ensure ourselves of protection from further poisoning.

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