Article 3: Teacher Forced Out of Class (Permanently) by Pesticide Use

Kootenai Valley Times – August 10, 2000

– by Dr. Gloria Gilbere

Dear Dr. Gloria:

During the summer of 1981, after living in a formaldehyde-laden mobile home for six years, my lungs began to continuously ache. I went to a family doctor who told me I was formaldehyde sensitive and to move out of my mobile home. I did not realize I was mildly chemically sensitive. I slept outside that summer until I moved and relocated to a safer home environment. For the most part, I could function in my teaching job, as a resource room special education teacher, as long as I kept things like marking pens out of my classroom environment.

That ability to function was to change when I was exposed to pesticides sprayed in my classroom. In the fall of 1989, I discovered wasps in my classroom. My school district maintenance came the next day to spray. The district maintenance staff told me that the Ortho Wasp & Bee Killer was SAFE. It was sprayed into the fresh air intake vent for my classroom, where the wasps had created their nest. After returning to my classroom I learned it was NOT SAFE for me.

The experience I had from that exposure to pesticide changed my life. My lungs began to ache, my vision blurred, I had seizures and spasms, my level of environmental intolerance sky rocketed, and I experienced terrible anxiety attacks. Prior to this, I had no anxiety attacks. This hell on earth lasted for about a week. Eventually I returned to school but never at the same level of tolerance as before the spraying. Life for me after that exposure was down hill as my sensitivities broadened and deepened. I continued to try to teach but eventually had to take an early retirement. During the last five or six years after the spraying, I had to reduce my contract or take a full leave of absence from teaching. The continual spraying of the school system in which I taught made the schools, and eventually the world around me, an incompatible environment.

As a result of my exposure to the pesticides in that "SAFE" spray, I have become extremely intolerant of any pesticide and chemicals. Spring and summer are the worst times of the year for me. I become extremely fatigued and have difficulty thinking clearly. As a result of my forced elimination out of our toxic environment, I have become committed to finding and living in harmony with Mother Earth.

We are living out of harmony with the natural order of things. Only safe alternatives should ever be used on this planet. As teachers, we teach our students to acknowledge and learn from our mistakes. Humanity is receiving continuous "error messages" about the poison protocol. It is time for us all to recognize the errors of our ways and make this planet safe for future generations and us.

Don Richard Paladin
Bellingham, WA

Dear Don: Millions of people are being diagnosed with chemical sensitivities from multiple sources, especially from pesticides. People spray their buildings and lawns without any regard to the toxic consequences for themselves, and especially those already reacting with multiple chemical sensitivities. School and home should be places we know our children are truly safe. Education is power, and it's time we start educating the decision makers, and our neighbors, as to the dangerous effects of chemicals, and guide them to safer alternatives. Your willingness to share your experience will serve to educate - so Don, you're still teaching, and education with personal experience is the most valuable. Thank you on behalf of all of us with MCS.

Dr. Gilbere

This and subsequent articles are for the purpose of education and to provide support to the millions afflicted with allergies and multiple chemical sensitivity syndromes.

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