When I signed up for this, I was swept away in the heat of the moment. Emotions were high upon seeing the thing, watching the video, reading the excitement and thinking, "Hell yes! What if every blog posted about the same issue on the same day?!" That would be really something! I was caught up in the spirit of the event. It sounded like a good idea at the time, even knowing that I really had no in depth knowledge of the environment or ideas of what to write about today. Back when I put that little button on my blog I thought, "I'll have plenty of time to do some research around the web using their resources and come up with something."
HA. Queen of Procrastination that I am (another nickname for me, CursingMama...), I postponed the research part, and every time that I came here to this little blog and saw that little button, it nagged at me a wee bit. I should have put the date on that button so that I would be reminded of just how quickly it was coming up because here it is! And I'm no better prepared than I was when I signed up. But today it is and I'm committed. So here goes...
The application of poisonous chemicals to lawns and farms for pest and weed control nearly cost me my husband. Oh, I know that's a pretty big statement and I really have no proof. But I'll stand by it. He had a brain tumor removed (as any long-time reader knows) in 2001. We were told the tumor had been there, growing slowly, for many years. When he was a young man of 16 or 17, he lied about his age to get a job working for a chemical company. (He was supposed to be 18.)
His job was to drive around to the stores and go to the garden centers where he would remove the old stock (you know, the old containers that back in the 80's were more lethal and toxic than they'd get away with now and ate through the containers faster than they do now... heh) and clean up the messes. If those stores needed any restocking he would also bring that product along with him in his VW bug.
Much of the stuff was powder. So, opening a case of it often unleashed a small cloud of powder left over from packing. Sometimes some of the big glass gallon jugs of pesticides would have leaked in the crate. I'd wipe off the jugs and put them out. That kind of stuff. So, contact with the chemical wasn't specifically part of the job. Maybe that was worse. Because it wasn't part of the job, I would be cleaning up weed killer dust and pesticides with paper towels and my bare hands. Maybe if I was SUPPOSED to be in contact, I would have been given masks and gloves and such. Maybe.
I know it got to me at least. After a day's work, I would feel like the inside of my sinuses were "sunburnt". That's how I remember describing it.
But, as you know, at that time, we all really needed the money. It was good money. My oldest brother was doing the same job, so he got me in there. (Kinnicchick interjects: Oldest Brother died last year at age 42 of a heart attack.)
It felt better than flipping burgers. At the time.
And, who knows? That was a long time ago. But, it seems possible.
Or, maybe it was that history combined with the atrazine in our well that was right up against the safe limit set by the government.
Yeah, who knows? The atrazine that caused those frogs to be deformed in the experiments done at UC Berkeley. But you know, there are many scientists who are quick to point out that frogs are not people... so you shouldn't assume that just because atrazine is bad for frogs...
Whatever. There is a reason that chemicals are only handled by their makers with hazard suits and gloves. And then they put those same chemicals into products that we use every day. Like nail polish remover and hair dye. On our scalp... where it leaches into our heads and bloodstream. Tell me that doesn't have an effect on our health.
So I'm going there. I'm making that connection. I believe his brain tumor is connected to that job working for the chemical company as a teenager breathing those harsh chemicals daily and cleaning them up without protection.
I'm grateful every single day that I didn't lose my husband to that brain tumor. And every single year that has passed since with clean MRI rides.
And downsizing to this town home and away from the well with the atrazine that was just below dangerous and into the 'safe enough' limit set by the government; the move that had nothing to do with our health or trying to move to town so we could walk more and save the environment in that way, but hey, now that I think about it, every little bit helps so yeah... I'm grateful for that too.