More Press on the Earlimart "Registered" Pesticide Victims------

"How many deaths will it take until they know how that too many people have died - The answer is blowing in the wind."  Sadly in California the (Mother's) answer is not blowing in the wind the POISONS are!

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Subject:      More Press on the Earlimart "Registered" Pesticide Victims------
 Date:         Sat, 11 Dec 1999 12:50:15 -0500
From:         Stephen Tvedten <>
Organization:     Get Set Inc. (
To:     Lyndon Hawkins <>
Lyndon, I thought you might like to read a little more on the harm just one application of only one of your "registered" POISONS caused some Californians:

News from the Farm Worker Movement (  10 a.m. Wednesday, December 8,  in Visalia, Earlimart pesticide victims bring appeal for change to top Tulare County officials.

  Some two dozen victims from a mass Nov. 13 pesticide poisoning of Earlimart residents will join United Farm Workers representatives in appealing Wednesday to top Tulare County officials for changes designed to prevent future incidents.

   The Earlimart residents, who are mostly farm workers, will first present proposals to the county Board of Supervisors aimed at ensuring similar poisonings do not occur again.

   Then they will hand over to the county agricultural commissioner more than 150 completed complaint forms from residents who suffered physical symptoms after metam sodium was applied by sprinklers to a nearby field. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, respiratory stress, rashes and headaches. Residents will offer two proposals to county officials.

      They will urge Tulare County to prohibit sprinkler application of the chemical. Buffer zones of one mile from structures are already required by agricultural commissioners in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties following a May 19 metam sodium poisoning near New Cuyama that forced the three-day closure of an elementary school.

      Tulare County authorities will be asked to improve their responses to pesticide poisonings. It took 9 days after the Nov. 13 incident--and organized community pressure--before a county health team came to Earlimart to treat poisoning victims who could not afford medical care. Residents had to pressure the local health clinic to bill for services instead of demanding up-front payments to treat poisoning victims. Residents exposed to the pesticide were also required to strip and be hosed down with cold water in front of news photographers.

Who:       Two dozen Earlimart residents poisoned by the pesticide metam sodium and top Tulare County officials.

What:  Presenting more than 150 complaint forms from poisoning victims and urging reforms to avoid future incidents.

When:  10 a.m. press briefing followed by a meeting at the Board of Supervisors; followed by presentation to the county agricultural commissioner.

Where:     Tulare County Adm. Bldg., 2800 W. Burrel Ave., Visalia.-,1724,120308,00.html
Earlimart residents urge review of pesticide policies - By Javier Erik Olvera, The Fresno Bee (Published December 9, 1999) - VISALIA - Lucy Huizar is afraid.  So are her children, who run into their south Earlimart home every time they smell an odor like the one that burned their eyes and lungs Nov. 13.

The 42-year-old mother wants someone to answer for what happened that evening, when a pesticide cloud prompted Tulare County authorities to evacuate homes and hose off half-naked residents in public.

Huizar was among two dozen people who staged a news conference outside Tulare County Board of Supervisors offices Wednesday.

They urged supervisors, who did not meet with them, to review evacuation procedures they believe violated their rights.

Supervisors plan a meeting with county officers Tuesday afternoon (Meeting: What: Tulare County Board of Supervisors, When: 2 p.m. Tuesday, Where: 2800 W. Burrel Ave., Visalia ) to get a rundown on whathappened last month, when the weed-killing chemical drifted from
160-acre field to a southeast neighborhood.

"We just want them to do something," Huizar said, as she stood amid a group waving red flags with the United Farm Workers labor union logo.  "They took away our rights that night. And that should never have happened."

Supervisor Jim Maples, contacted after the news conference, said county leaders have been getting periodic briefings about the incident since it was reported. They are concerned, and they are willing to consider changing procedures if problems are found, he said.

"It's tragic that this happened," Maples said. "We're looking at our procedures. What we're asking county departments to do is bring us any recommendations that they may have."

The Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency is reviewing its response to the incident as part of its policy, said Ray Bullick, assistant director.

Agency officials will present some of their findings to supervisors Tuesday, he said.

The Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner's Office is investigating whether the chemical - Sectagon 42 - was applied legally, said Bill Appleby, deputy agricultural commissioner.

Civil charges would be filed against the person applying the pesticide - which contains metam sodium, a chemical known to cause cancer - if wrongdoing is determined, he said.

It's unclear when the investigation would be completed.

Meanwhile, the county is enforcing stricter rules for metam sodium usage.

The Agricultural Commissioner's Office set up interim requirements for the chemical Nov. 19, said Appleby, who is in charge of the county's pesticide enforcement unit. Among the changes:

* The county now requires 48-hour notice of intent to spray fields with the chemical. The time will allow officials to survey the surrounding area. A 24-hour notice was needed in the past.

* Irrigation systems only can be used to apply the chemical to fields that are more than a quarter mile from sensitive areas such as neighborhoods, schools, labor camps and hospitals.

* A person who did not apply the chemical must go out to the field for an odor test. In the past, anyone could do this test.

Authorities traced the pesticide to a South Dietz Avenue field where a worker had been applying the chemical through sprinkler systems.

The pesticide apparently drifted into a three-block area in the southeast area of town, prompting the evacuation and decontamination.  More than 20 people were taken to area hospitals with complaints of nausea and shortness of breath.

Huizar was home that night playing cards with two friends when she noticed an ammonia-like smell, she said.

Before she knew it, she was being removed from her home, taken to a soccer field and told to strip down to her underwear as strangers watched.

"It was the most humiliating thing I've ever had to go through," she said.

"I wouldn't wish that treatment on anyone in the world - no matter who they are.'

Josefina Murgia, 38, has other worries.

The mother of three has a $6,000 bill to pay as a result of being taken to the hospital.

"I don't have that type of money," she said. "Paying the bill would mean my family would go hungry. Something has to be done."

#46527 - -Pesticide victims call for new rules - Filed: 12/08/99 - By WENDY OWEN

Well Lyndon, Is it ever going to be "legal" in California to recommend any SAFE alternatives to your dangerous, "registered" POISONS?  As you are well aware, there is no completely "safe" way to use/misuse your volatile POISONS.  That is why it is against the federal law to say even the labeled use of any of your "registered" pesticide POISONS is "safe"!  There are many safe alternatives however!

There is a refrain going through my mind as I write this letter:  "How many deaths will it take until they know how that too many people have died - The answer is blowing in the wind."  Sadly in California the (Mother's) answer is not blowing in the wind the POISONS are!

Respectfully,  Stephen L. Tvedten.