Re: Pesticides in Workplace and exposure
Posted by Kay on 2/15/04
Sorry to hear another person has had their life affected/runined by
exposure to toxic chemicals. Your patient needs legal advice from
a lawyer and you can supply the necessary substantiation.
Regulation of indoor air quality has been successfully fought off
by the affected industries so it is unlikely you will find much
help there. Texas being home to so much oil and chemical industry
would probably be the last state to adopt such measures.
It is only in the last couple years that states have adopted
measures that would even allow parents to learn of pesticide
applications made in schools. Most of the legislation requires the
parent to inform the school that they want to be informed, there is
usually not a blanket notice. (see www.ehhi.org for information
about doctors working on this issue in CT) Currently pesticides are
applied wherever and whenever applicators and facility owners
desire - including hospitals, preschools, schools, nursing homes,
neighbors' yards, grocery stores, public buildings etc.
Obtaining the names of the products used in the Courthouse would
enable you to see what application restrictions may be on the
label. If spraying the chair where a person comes in physical
contact with the substance is a violation of the label, the
applicators should be reported for that. For EPA registered
products, they must be used according to the label instructions.
If you are concerned that your patient needs prior notification of
pesticide spraying to continue working, she may have to work
through Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the American
with Disabilities Act. They decide on a case by case basis, but do
not usually decide favoraby for people affected by chemical
exposure injuries and sensitivities.
A plaintiff's toxic tort attorney could help your patient determine
if there is a claim that could be made against the applicator, the
manufacturer of the pesticide or even the building owner etc.
If you are a person who truly cares about the well-being of your
patients I would encourage you to read Chemical Exposures: Low
Levels and High States by Nicholas Ashford and Claudia Miller.
(Claudia Miller is a professor at Univ of TX Health Sciences Center
at San Antonio)
There you can get a good overview of the terrain of chemical
exposures - health conditions, regualtory agencies and the role of
If you are someone who frightens easily, you should probably adopt
the protocol that most of the medical community has adopted:
Interrogate your patient about past traumatic events, such as any
form of abuse, divorced parents, infidelity of spouse etc. Then,
take whatever comes up and label it as the source for
current "somatic complaints" of your patient. Then, prescribe
psychological treatment and prescriptions for psychotropic drugs.
This is the industry preferred diagnosis for people injured by
chemical exposures - or - American Gulag, as I call it.
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