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Teacher Forced Out of Class by Pesticide Use

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.

Read more: Teacher Forced Out of Class by Pesticide Use

Wick-ed Candles - They Light Up Your Life

Article 4: Wick-ed Candles—They "Light up Your Life"—and Endanger Your Children

Kootenai Valley Times – August 17, 2000

– by Dr. Gloria Gilbere

Chemical toxicity comes in many seemingly innocent disguises. One such toxic substance, not readily known by the general public, is the candlewick. In 1973 the EPA Administrator urged a mandatory ban on all candles with lead-containing wicks. As a result, a voluntary ban was approved and then not complied with or even monitored. An EPA study in 1974 determined "Burning only two candles three hours each day on a regular basis in the home could increase exposure to airborne lead by a factor of 5 or more. This exposure to lead from candles could equal or exceed the exposure to airborne lead associated with the busiest freeways in America." [This statement was made at the time when leaded gasoline was still fairly commonplace.] "Inhabitants of homes in which lead wick candles are burned could be exposed to substantial incremental quantities of lead which, if continued on a regular basis would pose a significantly high risk to health, especially among children." The EPA determined that burning candles with lead-containing wicks exceeded the current EPA air quality standard by over 10 times. Yet, today candles containing lead are still being manufactured and sold!

Read more: Wick-ed Candles - They Light Up Your Life

Pesticide Use Prohibits Parent From Visiting School

Article 5: Pesticide Use Prohibits Parent From Visiting School

Kootenai Valley Times – August 24, 2000

– by Dr. Gloria Gilbere

Dear Dr. Gloria:

I have multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), and sometimes the way people treat me is a real challenge. One day I told a friend that I couldn't go into the school building that day because they had just washed the carpets with a shampoo containing pesticides. I explained the pesticides would make me ill if I entered, and she laughed at me. I wasn't sure how to respond to her rudeness and insensitivity. How do we respond when people laugh at us for what is a legitimate disorder that can have life-threatening consequences?

Read more: Pesticide Use Prohibits Parent From Visiting School

Hair Spray Toxins

Article 6: Hair Spray – Toxins Can Contribute a Firm Hold on Allergic Reactions

Kootenai Valley Times – September 1, 2000

– by Dr. Gloria Gilbere

There is much discussion these days about people developing severe allergies as a result of living in a toxic world full of synthetic chemicals. These allergies are known as chemically induced immune system disorders or environmental illness. Since over 28% of us are affected, did you ever consider what using just one synthetic product, hair spray, can do to our pets?

Just read the warning on hair spray labels (partial list): Use only as directed. Misuse by deliberately concentrating and inhaling contents can be harmful or fatal!

Read more: Hair Spray Toxins

Fabric Softeners Create a Gas-ly Family Visit

Article 7: Fabric Softeners Create a Gas-ly Family Visit

Kootenai Valley Times – September 7, 2000

– by Dr. Gloria Gilbere

By now everyone is aware of the dangers of second hand smoke—but not everyone realizes the dangers of second hand fragrances.


Dear Dr. Gloria:

As a person living with a respiratory system affected by multiple chemical sensitivities, I submit the following personal account to add some humor to a serious situation caused by use of fabric softeners.

Read more: Fabric Softeners Create a Gas-ly Family Visit

EPA Ruling on Dursban for Household Use

Article 8: EPA Ruling on Dursban for Household Use

Kootenai Valley Times – September 15, 2000

– by Dr. Gloria Gilbere

While the EPA fell short of a total ban on chlorpyrifos, the pesticide commonly known as Dursban, the new EPA ruling takes strong action restricting most household uses of Dursban by the end of this year. This is welcome news for sufferers of multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), as chlorppyrifos is a chemical frequently associated with the onset of MCS. In the past the EPA was only allowed to look at the carcinogenicity of a pesticide, but under the Food Quality Protection Act, which now allows the EPA to also consider neurotoxicity and estrogen disruption when evaluating the safety of a pesticide, the EPA was able to severely restrict use of Dursban. These new restrictions are the outcome of a voluntary agreement between the EPA and Dow AgroSciences. Under the agreement, production of chlorpyrifos for home, lawn and garden uses will cease by the end of the year, and its use in agriculture will be significantly curtailed. According to EPA administrator, Carol Browner, if the EPA had tried for an outright ban on Dursban, it would have resulted in years of legal battles, during which time the public would continue to be exposed.

Read more: EPA Ruling on Dursban for Household Use

Scared to Death of Having to Call 911

Article 9: "Scared to Death" of Having to Call 911

Kootenai Valley Times – September 22, 2000

– by Dr. Gloria Gilbere

Dear Dr. Gloria:

Several months ago I was invited to be on a health services panel in New Mexico as part of a community forum regarding people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). The forum was convened by the Governor's Committee on Concerns for the Handicapped to explore the incidence and problems associated with this difficult medical condition.

Usually on such panels I expect to take 10-15 minutes to explain the components and functioning of the EMS system and how it serves the needs of the entire population. I generally speak with pride based upon my positive sense of EMS in New Mexico. On this day, however, I never got the opportunity. The next hour was spent listening to testimony from the impacted public, some via speaker telephone from their homes and offices.

Read more: Scared to Death of Having to Call 911

Scents in the Workplace

Article 10: Scents in the Workplace

Kootenai Valley Times – October 1, 2000

– by Dr. Gloria Gilbere

Dear Dr. Gilbere:

This article is adapted from one in my employer's company newsletter. Please share it to support your efforts to raise awareness of fragrance problems in the workplace.

A little scent goes a long way

Just pumping gas can leave you smelling of gasoline for hours. Walk through the haze of smokers outside your favorite store or restaurant, and the acrid smell of tobacco lingers for hours.

Read more: Scents in the Workplace

Plants Help Reverse Indoor Air Pollution

Article 11: Plants Help Reverse Indoor Air Pollution and Allergies

Kootenai Valley Times – October 6, 2000

– by Dr. Gloria Gilbere

According to Dr. B.C. Wolverton, noted scientist for the NASA lunar habitat, most experts now agree that indoor air pollution is a major problem and may actually be as much as ten times more polluted than the outdoor environment. There is no agreement, however, on how to solve it. The Institute of Medicine estimates that one in five north Americans will experience allergy-related illness at some point during their lives, and indoor allergens will be responsible for a substantial number of those cases. Included are reoccurring sinus infections, chronic post-nasal discharge, asthma, bronchial infections, and ear infections. It is currently estimated that 28% of Americans experience multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) and it is expected to grow to 60% by 2010. Increasing the levels of ventilation in a building does not offer a solution. Constant purging of inside air is neither cost-effective nor environmentally responsible. Although the term "green building" is becoming an attractive concept to building managers and occupants, the use of living plants is not currently part of the concept.

Read more: Plants Help Reverse Indoor Air Pollution

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