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Defending Homeowner Rights for Pesticide Label Disclosure | Want some pesticides with that apple?
latimes.com ADHD | Are Pesticides Causing Parkinson's Disease? | ...the Shocking Die-off of Bees
Texas & California streams contaminated with Pyrethroids | TAMOXIFEN & Breast Cancer
Minnesota Pesticide Applicators have Children With Birth Defects | Tamoxifen Causes Cancer |
Pesticide Tainted Melons Sicken 2,000 People In U.S. & Canada
March 14, 2011
ALWAYSECO GETS CUSTOMER
OVER $1,000 AFTER A LOCAL
PEST CONTROL COMPANY CONTAMINATED
THE CUSTOMER'S HOME DURING
A FAKE BED BUG TREATMENT
This article shall not disclose names because of the settlement reached between the parties. Further, AlwaysEco commends the owner of the pest control firm against which the allegations were made. The company acted responsibly upon discovery of the pesticide exposure issue and made immediate contact with Dr. Mitchell. Our eco-hats go off to you and we thank you for your professionalism and cooperation.
STATEMENT OF FACT:
We received a call from a potential customer stating that she believed she was being bitten by bed bugs. AlwaysEco sent two officers to the home of the customer. Upon arrival, the officers thoroughly inspected the entire premises, every room, every crack and crevice, furniture, bedding, fixtures, and outlets. There were no bed bugs to be found. The customer had called a different company before calling AlwaysEco. That company dispatched a technician that failed to inspect the home or even the beds, sprayed dangerous pesticides on mattresses and finally charged a substantial fee for the fake bed bug treatment. After the officers informed the customer that she did not have bed bugs, the customer produced the service record from the previous company. There on the service record the technician had written that he had sprayed the mattresses with a very powerful, toxic synthetic dangerous pesticide in violation of the label instructions that specifically state that one must not spray surfaces where people will be sitting or lying. AlwaysEco officers had handled the mattresses unaware that the mattresses had been thoroughly contaminated with a toxin that notoriously absorbs through the skin, affects the human central nervous system, and volatizes at temperature.
After our officers informed the customer that her mattresses and bed frames had been unlawfully and permanently contaminated, the customer was perturbed. The technician apparently failed to warn the customer that she was in immediate danger of pesticide exposure because the technician had clearly failed to read the pesticide label instructions. The customer's cat was also at risk of pesticide exposure because it frequently lounged on the beds the technician had contaminated. The customer appointed AlwaysEco as her pesticide consultant and advisor. AlwaysEco dispatched a very detailed demand letter to the alleged offender. The company responded quickly, had its attorney draw up a release agreement, paid the customer for the contaminated beds, and refunded the fake treatment cost. The attorney for the alleged offender sent AlwaysEco a copy of the release agreement and the customer picked up her check without incident.
End of Statement of Fact
The response from AlwaysEco helped the other company to improve its training for handling dangerous toxins and helped the customer retrieve over $1,000 for damages. Remember, "There is no safe way to apply an unsafe toxic pesticide." With that said, reading the label and following instructions helps reduce direct exposure in many cases, but only avoidance of these toxins can assure it. Furthermore, by direct, indirect, inhalation or by transfer, the toxins remain in the environment and people and pets are exposed to them regardless of how careful the application method.
AlwaysEco is not a law firm and its officers are not lawyers. When it comes to pesticides, we know the chemicals, toxicology, labels, the dangers, the laws, rules and regulations governing the use of toxins in the State of Texas.
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March 13, 2011
DR. MITCHELL PROTECTS CUSTOMER SERVICE
VIGOROUSLY AND GETS BIG STATE-LEVEL WIN
THAT SETS LEGAL PRECEDENCE FOR ALL
TEXAS PEST CONTROL EMPLOYERS
When it comes to protecting the reputation, trade secrets, and quality of safe pest control services offered to the public, Dr. Mitchell is the most committed CEO in Texas. Where other pest control companies pay lip service to customer service, the CEO fought to protect the sacred relationships companies nurture with their customers. Pest control companies frequently find it impossible to terminate lack luster employees that bring discredit to the firm, mislead consumers, fail to perform to reasonable and established standards, or violate safety measures - acts of which threaten or endanger others. Terminating a difficult employee for misconduct usually results in suspect unemployment claims that harm the operator's business and the state. The pest control industry is plagued with false claims for unemployment when in fact the salesperson or technician failed to perform some manifest duty that harms or has the potential to harm the general public, other employees, or the pest control operator. Damaging the reputation of the pest control company through egregious acts of misconduct and later forcing the People of the State of Texas to pay for it is an unconscionable burden on taxpayers and has been for decades.
Historically, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) only regards the final act for which an employee was terminated as the act by which a decision for payout will be decided. Employers typically reach wits end by the time termination is warranted and the final act leading to termination is the proverbial straw that breaks the camels back. This "straw that broke the camel's back" analogy has cost the State of Texas hundreds of millions of dollars over decades of payouts. Dr. Mitchell rebuked this concept and waged a five-month long legal battle to change the law and overturn an unreasonable decision - and he did!
Dr. Mitchell led a legal charge and battled to prevent employees that violate reasonable company policies from taking money from the workers compensation fund. Dr. Mitchell argued that misconduct in the workplace that violates reasonable written policy is misconduct - period and should carry the same weight as government definitions of misconduct; that an accumulation of acts of misconduct is still misconduct regardless of the final act of misconduct that precipitates termination, and that the aggregrate of misconduct better represents the employee than does a single defiant act that lacks historical reference.
According to law, misconduct in connection with the pest control work is so narrowly defined that thousands of ex-pest control employees over years received benefits when in fact the employer had just cause for termination that amounted to misconduct. However, when the final incident that prompts termination fails to rise to the textbook level of misconduct as defined by state legislature, pest control operators shoulder the burden of unfair unemployment claims, lower earnings, reduced customer service, and a crippled workforce. Customers suffer missed appointments and improper applications of pesticides by untrained apprentices, whilst the ex-employee collects a check for doing nothing to contribute to the State of Texas or the employer.
Dr. Mitchell argued that each individual infraction of company policy is a violation of policy or company law whether or not it rises to the current legal level of misconduct, but when taken in totality is greater than the sum of either of the permissible definitions of misconduct under current law. If each infraction were assigned ½ point and current law received 1 point, the sum of the infractions could easily surpass the limited acts of misconduct permissible by law. Dr. Mitchell argued that current law is symbolic of a revolving door that does nothing to enforce employee workplace ethics but instead offers rewards for circumventing employer rules and regulations to a known percentage that falls just outside of TWC enforcement capabilities - leaving the trained lawyers at TWC with few options to adjudicate in totality.
On appeal, Dr. Mitchell authored a 28-page motion to the commission and presented dozens of legal points backed by case law during the hearings. The lawyers at the commission had a tough time because the points he raised fell outside the narrow legal definition of misconduct; and to accept Dr. Mitchell's treatise would mean a change in the law governing misconduct by pest control employees and/or sales people and employees in general. A reversal of the original decision would have significant meaning to all Texas employers. Dr. Mitchell had to prove that a change in the law was warranted if the commission were to decide the case based on the four corners of the arguments before it versus a narrow definition that fell short in too many areas or a definition that applied during a different era. Dr. Mitchell argued that the reasonable rules of the employer are the laws of the employment relationship. Violations of those rules are misconduct and the employer's findings of misconduct should weigh in the commission's rulings on misconduct regardless of the existing legal definition for misconduct. Factually, the employer has the burden of providing employment and takes on the responsibility of adhering to fair employment laws and labor laws. The state grants fiduciary responsibility to employers as in the case of employee withholdings and sales and use tax collection. Thus, the employer is an agent for the state and the state ostensibly grants authority to the employer to act on its behalf in employment matters. Consequently, the employer should be afforded authority commiserate with its responsibilities when deciding matters of misconduct that effect its beneficiary - The State of Texas.
Dr. Mitchell further argued that to limit misconduct to a single specific act at termination would diminish the employer's authority to protect itself and its beneficiary - The State of Texas, and further disregards the enumerable acts of prior misconduct for which an employer may later choose to terminate an employee for cause.
Dr. Mitchell argued that the People of the State of Texas would disagree that benefits should be awarded when similar employment opportunity was readily available for an employee that had already been fired for misconduct. The commission recognized the brevity of the prior decision that perpetuated misconduct in the workplace to the peril of employers and Texas taxpayers. The commission reversed the earlier decision and made Dr. Mitchell's argument case law precedence.
After five months of motions, briefs, and hearings, the Texas Workforce Commission reversed its decision on appeal in favor of the employer. Today, we received notice that our case has now become CASE LAW PRECEDENCE in the State of Texas.
Texas Workforce Commission
"The following decision has been adopted as a precedent by the Commission in Section MC 300.05 of the Appeals Policy and Precedent Manual."
"Appeal No. 87-16289-10-091787. In determining whether a claimant's total performance or non-performance constitutes misconduct connected with the work, the last incident of alleged misconduct is not the only incident which should be considered."
This precedence broadens the scope of the existing statute that limits findings of misconduct to only the act that precipitates termination. Our case law precedence setting arguments may save the state millions of dollars a year in frivolous and unsubstantiated unemployment claims. Furthermore, the lawyers at the TWC have a brand new tool to fight worker's compensation fraud. Hooray for the TWC.
Our small victory is a big win for pest control companies and every employer in Texas. We work hard to deliver great service, quality products, and safe pest control to our customers. We sacrifice family time, leisure, and general relaxation to build our brands. We have rules that protect our company, customers, and employees. A disgruntled employee can quickly ruin your reputation and destroy your customer good will. The new case law precedent helps employers set rules, monitor and record violations, and terminate nuisance employees for misconduct without fear of employee retaliation or debits against its workers compensation policy. This decision could potentially save the State of Texas millions of dollars in payouts on dubious unemployment claims whereby the employer terminates an employee for an accumulation of misconduct, but not any specific cause that rose to the level of misconduct in connection with the work at the time of termination. Congratulations to employers everywhere.
We protect children, pets, and the environment from harmful toxic pesticides and we protect our business from anything that may interfere with our ability to provide that protection.
Dr. Mitchell is not an attorney and this article does not constitute legal advice.
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October 5, 2010
DEFENDING HOMEOWNER'S RIGHTS FOR PESTICIDE DISCLOSURE
AGAINST BULWARK EXTERMINATING® LLC OF AUSTIN TEXAS
STATEMENT OF FACT:
In September 2010 an Environmental Steward of our previous pest control firm discussed safe pesticide services with a homeowner in Austin, Texas. The homeowner was a customer of Bulwark Exterminating LLC of Austin. The homeowner, after discovering the danger of the pesticides that had been sprayed inside his home around his pets and family by Bulwark, wanted both companies to bring their product labels to a meeting at his home. The homeowner demanded disclosure so that he could make an informed decision about pest control. Bulwark refused to bring the specimen labels for the pesticides they had been spraying and refused to meet. After Bulwark refused to show for the disclosure meeting, the homeowner canceled Bulwark on his own. Bulwark refused to accept the cancellation. Bulwark then offered the customer a discount if Bulwark could continue spraying their toxins on the customer's property.
Later that week, on October 4, 2010 Bulwark had its attorney send a threatening letter to Dr. Mitchell, demanding that the firm stop educating families in Austin about toxic synthetic dangerous poisonous pesticides, specifically Bulwark's use of such pesticides, the wholesale spraying of poisons without disclosure in advance of spraying (although Bulwark did and does spray toxic synthetic dangerous poisonous pesticides at the time of the attorney's threat letter), indicated by definite threat that Bulwark wanted the firm to refrain from knocking on doors in Austin and informing homeowners of the dangers of the pesticides, and by way of threat and attempted intimidation, demanded that the firm avoid customers of Bulwark for fear of reprisal, threatened Dr. Mitchell's license, and threatened the firm with legal actions, injunctions, and monetary damages.
Dr. Mitchell responded to Bulwark's attorney with a letter describing the alleged false and misleading claims made by Bulwark on its website, the alleged violations of state and federal law for failing to disclose the contents of their poisons when asked repeatedy by their own customer, and the alleged act of telling the homeowner that he was "safe" when he was not, which is a violation of Texas law and federal labeling law. Dr. Mitchell informed Bulwark and its attorney that their insane demands were denied with prejudice and that the firm and its Environmental Stewards would continue knocking on doors in Austin and would continue to inform any homeowner that would listen about the dangers of toxic synthetic dangerous poisonous pesticides, whether Bulwark liked it or not.
Bulwark immediately changed the false claims at their website in compliance with Dr. Mitchell's demand that Bulwark cease and desist all false and misleading statements of safety at their website. Dr. Mitchell demanded that Bulwark inform each of its customers about the poisons and provide to each of them the specimen labels for every poison Bulwark has ever sprayed, placed, or used on a homeowners' property, inside their homes, and in places where a homeowners' children and pets frequent. Bulwark has not provided any proof of compliance with that particular demand. We have images of the false and deceptive claims that had likely deceived homeowners for an undetermined number of years on Bulwark's website.
According to the homeowner, he has since cancelled Bulwark and demanded a refund.
AlwaysEco™ denounces any and all use of toxic synthetic dangerous poisonous pesticides by any pest control company - period!
End of Statement of Fact
If you would like a copy of the bully threat letter from Bulwark's attorney and Dr. Mitchell's definitive response, request both letters from the contact screen.
Another life saved…
"If you can't eat it, you had better not spray it… not on our watch™!
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THE SACRAMENTO BEE
Published Monday, November 8, 2010
Want some pesticides with that apple?The Philidelphia Enquirer
If new research holds true across the wider population, one mouthful out of five that children eat is tainted with pesticides.
A new report has found that more than a fifth of the food eaten by two small groups of U.S. children was tainted with pesticides. Of the food containing pesticides, about one quarter contained more than one kind. All totaled, the researchers testing it found 14 varieties of pesticides.
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10:59 AM PDT, August 19, 2010
MORE EVIDENCE LINKS PESTICIDES TO HYPERACTIVITY
A growing body of evidence is suggesting that exposure to organophosphate pesticides is a prime cause of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD. The findings are considered plausible to many experts because the pesticides are designed to attack the nervous systems of insects. It is not surprising, then, that they should also impinge on the nervous systems of humans who are exposed to them.
Forty organophosphate pesticides are registered in the United States, with at least 73 million pounds used each year in agricultural and residential settings. Read more...
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This story originally appeared in OnEarth Magazine.
Posted on June 19, 2009
Are Pesticides Causing Parkinson's Disease?By Robin Marantz Henig, OnEarth Magazine
Posted on June 19, 2009 http://www.alternet.org/story/140673/
Jackie Christensen was 32 when her body began to betray her. She had just returned to work after the birth of her second son and when she tried to type, two fingers on her left hand refused to cooperate. "They wouldn't go where I would want them to on the keyboard," says Christensen, who at the time -- it was 1997 -- was co-director of the food and health program at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, a Minneapolis think tank. "I also had what they frequently call frozen shoulder, with a very low range of motion in my left arm." Read more...
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Environmental Science & Technology
December 1, 2008
Pyrethroids are ubiquitous in California’s urban streams"See the paragraph on Texas!
A study published in the September 15 issue of Environmental Science & Technology has found pyrethroid contamination in 100 percent of urban streams sampled. Synthetic Pyrethroids are one of the most widely used consumer pesticides, but recently they have been scrutinized for their resultant health and environmental effects. California is currently reevaluating certain pyrethroid-containing pesticides as a result of increasingly conclusive research.
Entitled “Statewide Investigation of the Role of Pyrethroid Pesticides in Sediment Toxicity in California’s Urban Waterways,” the research included California’s most urbanized regions, as well as the less developed North Coast and Lake Tahoe areas. Thirty creeks in eight regions were selected from 90 screened sites, and bioassays were conducted at two temperatures, 23 and 15 degrees Celsius. Researchers found 25 samples to be toxic at the higher temperature and all 30 at the lower, which is where pyrethroids are more toxic. “Bifenthrin was the pyrethroid of greatest toxicological concern, occurring in all 30 samples,” wrote the team, and the Los Angeles, Central Valley, and San Diego regions showed the most severe contamination. The sampling included analysis for 8 pyrethroids, 30 organochlorine pesticides, and piperonyl butoxide, which helps to make pyrethroids toxic at lower levels.
“It was really good that they did the temperature study,” said Kathryn Kuivila of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The analysis confirmed that pyrethroids were the substance toxic to Hyalella azteca, the small shrimp used in the study. Kuivila and other researchers from USGS will present similar data from seven cities around the United States at a November meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.
A similar study found pyrethroid toxicity in sediments in urban Texas streams. Co-author Jason Belden, Ph.D. said conditions between Texas and California are “different enough to indicate problems [with pyrethroids] across the country.”
Toxicologist Michael J. Lydy, Ph.D., said results like these could occur “any time you find a manicured yard, across the U.S.” This is just one of many reasons to convert public and private lawns and landscapes to organic management, which eliminates synthetic pesticides like pyrethroids. Visit our Lawns and Landscapes program page or our Alternatives fact sheets for tips on organic, Integrated Pest Management, and policy information. Read more...
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Posted on October 20, 2010,
Have We Really Solved the Mystery
By Tom Laskawy, Grist.org
Behind the Shocking Die-off of Bees?
Posted on October 20, 2010,
The New York Times made a long-awaited (and much emailed) announcement on its front page last week: The mystery of the ongoing and agriculturally devastating bee die-off (aka Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD) has been cracked! I'm not trying to hype the news.
Here's the headline and lede:
Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery
It has been one of the great murder mysteries of the garden: what is killing off the honeybees? Since 2006, 20 to 40 percent of the bee colonies in the United States alone have suffered "colony collapse." Suspected culprits ranged from pesticides to genetically modified food. ...Ah, America. Fighting hard for the freedom to spray toxic chemicals everywhere. Read more...
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Published April 1996
Pesticide appliers, biocides,
Research Article by: V F Garry, D Schreinemachers,
M E Harkins, and J Griffith
and birth defects in rural Minnesota.
Environ Health Perspect. 1996 April; 104(4): 394–399.
University of Minnesota Laboratory of Environmental Medicine and Pathology, Minneapolis 55414, USA.
ABSTRACT: Earlier studies by our group suggested the possibility that offspring of pesticide appliers might have increased risks of birth anomalies. To evaluate this hypothesis, 935 births to 34,772 state-licensed, private pesticide appliers in Minnesota occurring between 1989 and 1992 were linked to the Minnesota state birth registry containing 210,723 live births in this timeframe. The birth defect rate for all birth anomalies was significantly increased in children born to private appliers. Specific birth defect categories, circulatory/respiratory, urogenital, and musculoskeletal/integumental, showed significant increases. For the general population and for appliers, the birth anomaly rate differed by corp-growing region. Western Minnesota, a major wheat, sugar beet, and potato growing region, showed the highest rate of birth anomalies per/1000 live births: 30.0 for private appliers versus 26.9 for the general population of the same region. The lowest rates, 23.7/1000 for private appliers versus 18.3/1000 for the general population, occurred in noncorp regions. The highest frequency of use of chlorophenoxy herbicides and fungicides also occurred in western Minnesota. Births in the general population of western Minnesota showed a significant increase in birth anomalies in the same three birth anomaly categories as appliers and for central nervous system anomalies. This increase was most pronounced for infants conceived in the spring. The seasonal effect did not occur in other regions. The male/female sex ratio for the four birth anomaly categories of interest in areas of high phenoxy herbicide/fungicide use is 2.8 for appliers versus 1.5 for the general population of the same region (p = 0.05). In minimal use regions, this ratio is 2.1 for appliers versus 1.7 for the general population. The pattern of excess frequency of birth anomalies by pesticide use, season, and alteration of sex ratio suggests exposure-related effects in appliers and the general population of the crop-growing region of western Minnesota. Read more...
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Published November 19, 2010
Life's Delicate Balance
Causes and Prevention of Breast Cancer
Chemical manipulationBy Janette D. Sherman, M.D.
In 1995, public hearings were held in California, following which tamoxifen was designated as a carcinogen by the State of California. Substantiating the finding is a 16-page list of articles and comments, relied upon by that state's Carcinogen Identification Committee, available from the California State offices in Sacramento. How did this proven carcinogen become the drug of choice for treating breast cancer, and for the "prevention" of breast cancer? Read more...
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Posted November 19, 2010
15 Dangerous Drugs Big Pharma
Shoves Down Our Throats
In the pharmaceutical industry’s rush to get drugs
to market, safety
usually comes last. And the public suffers.
By Martha Rosenberg
Is it a coincidence that Tamoxifen maker AstraZenaca founded Breast Cancer Awareness Month and makes carcinogenic agrochemicals that cause breast cancer? Both the original safety studies of Tamoxifen, which causes cancer, birth defects and is a chemical cousin of organochlorine pesticides, and its original marketing were riddled with scientific error. In fact, FDA objected to AstraZeneca's marketing claim of breast cancer prevention and the casting of endometrial cancer as an "uncommon" event 10 years ago.
Yet today pharma-linked doctors still tell women to take Tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer even though an American Journal of Medicine study found the average life expectancy increase is nine days (and Public Citizen says for every case of breast cancer Tamoxifen prevents there is a life-threatening case of blood clots, stroke or endometrial cancer). A Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation study shows an example of Tamoxifen's downside: 57.2 percent of women on continuous Tamoxifen developed atrophy of the lining of the uterus, 35.7 coexisting hyperphasia and 8.1 percent uterine polyps. We won't even talk about eye and memory problems -- or the Tamoxifen cousin, Evista, that pharma is also pushing which has a "death from stroke" warning on its label. Read more...
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August 18, 2010
Insecticide to be banned -
three decades after tainted melons
sickened 2,000 people
By Marla Cone
Editor in Chief
Environmental Health News
One of the most acutely hazardous pesticides still used in the United States, aldicarb is a carbamate insecticide that is taken up by roots and carried into the fruit of a plant. High levels of aldicarb can have neurotoxic effects; it inhibits an enzyme that controls the transmission of messages to nerves.
“After thousands of poisonings, it is mind-boggling that aldicarb is still in use,” said Steve Scholl-Buckwald, managing director of the environmental group Pesticide Action Network North America. “The wheels just grind so, so slowly. It never should have been registered in the first place back in 1970 and by the mid-1980s there was sufficient data to suggest it should have been taken off the market.”...
For infants, consumption of aldicarb residue – mostly in potatoes, citrus and water – can reach 800 percent higher than the EPA’s level of concern for health effects, while children between the ages of one and five can ingest 300 percent more than the level of concern, according to an Aug. 4 EPA memo...
On the Fourth of July in 1985, three people who had eaten watermelon in Oakland, Calif., rapidly became ill with symptoms that included vomiting, diarrhea, muscle twitches and abnormally slow heart rates. At the same time, people in Oregon were falling ill, too, and tests of watermelons found extremely high levels of aldicarb, which was illegal to use on all melons...
That summer, a total of 1,350 cases of aldicarb poisoning from watermelon were reported in California, plus another 692 cases in eight other states and Canada, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Seventeen people were hospitalized. Six deaths and two stillbirths were reported in people who fell ill, but the pesticide was not listed as the cause of death in coroner reports. Read more...
From the CEO:
"The most convincing evidence of Poisoning-For-Profit
you will ever read..."
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