Archive for category ‘Pesticides, Insecticides‘

Airline pays passenger €50,000 because of pesticide on board

Life-threatening asthma attack in airplane triggered by Permethrin

An Irish businessman suffered from a severe allergic reaction during an Air France flight because the airline sprayed the pesticide permethrin on board. James Lapham sued Air France and received €50,000 compensation for damages for the first time in history as was stated in the Irish Independent newspaper. Mr. Lapham, an asthmatic, barely survived the incident and is still receiving medical treatment after 8 months.

Pesticides are often part of everyday life on board

The spraying of pesticides on planes is not unusual. For hygiene reasons, and because it is feared that pests could be transported, many countries require the spraying of pesticides. Normally, the passengers are not informed or warned. The estimated number of passengers who suffered health problems during a flight due to pesticide on board is most likely high. Airlines worldwide now fear that this case could constitute a precedent, and that other passengers suffering from ailments may call upon this case.

A German lawyer led a lawsuit against Air France in 2008. He had also suffered health problems caused by the spraying of pesticides on board. The airline denied him the information as to what pesticide had been used. The Frankfurt regional court’s verdict in December 2008 gave the attorney only half right.

An even bigger worry for the airlines than the single passenger cases, is complaints from flight staff who have become ill due to pesticides and may take advantage of the current case.

Asthma attacks caused by pesticides

The Independent writes that James Lapham was on a flight from Rabat to Dublin when the incident occurred. He had only been on board for 10 minutes when he experienced breathing difficulties. The Irish Independent reports that the flight attendants had sprayed permethrin, a neurotoxic pesticide, in the cabin. Permethrin is a Pyrethroide, and is a pesticide which is known for, among other things, triggering allergic and non-allergic asthma. Permethrin is prohibited on flights in the U.S. because the pesticide has been classified by the EPA as carcinogenic since 1997.

Emergency landing due to asthmatic’s reaction to pesticide

The Irish businessman reacted so violently to the permethrin that the flight attendants had to give him oxygen. This intervention was not enough and Mr. Lapham’s asthmatic condition worsened and the aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing in Morocco. The businessman was brought by ambulance to a hospital, where he was stabilized with cortisone. The Independent stated that Mr. Lapham might indeed work again, but is still in need of medical treatment.

Sick due to pesticides in airplane – not an isolated case

The Irish businessman James Lapham is not an isolated case. Particularly flight staffs on long-haul flights in hot regions have been complaining for years about the use of pesticides and the damaging health effects caused by the toxic chemicals. Court cases in different countries are pending and flight attendants have organized internationally for years.

James Lapham pled at the Irish High Court at the Montreal Convention. Passengers cannot receive more than € 100,000 damages under this convention, the Irishman won half, €50.000. Whether more cases will be recognized can not be predicted, because airlines still claim that permethrin had been recommended by the WHO, although scientific studies on the health damaging effects of neurotoxic pesticide are increasing.

Author: Silvia K. Müller, CSN – Chemical Sensitivity Network, 21. August 2011

Literature: Independent, Airline pays out €50,000 in pest-killer spray case, August 09, 2011

Support for sufferers of Aerotoxic Syndrome: AEROTOXIC ASSOCIATION

Related CSN Articles:

Since when do fish use perfume?

Environmental contamination from the everyday habits of humans cause “perfumed” fish

We encounter fragrances in everyday situations. We have “our world” scented even if we prefer to live fragrance and chemical-free. These scents come to us via our daily hygiene, food, cleaning products, baby diapers, candles, hotel rooms, and even socks and subway tickets have fragrance added. Mixtures of chemicals usually make up the perfumed ingredients. They accumulate in our fatty tissue, breast milk, and in our environment. A governmental laboratory in Switzerland found fish in high alpine lakes with fragrance ingredients. How did they get there, at altitudes seldom reached by a hiker, in a region where nobody lives?

The dream of clean air and water

Take a look at a peaceful scene in nature… high mountains at two thousand meters, crystal clear air, breathtaking panoramic views with deep blue mountain lakes. This scenery gives one the opportunity to feel one with nature, but appearances can be deceiving. A Swiss government laboratory for analytical chemistry has found samples of fish from the lakes in high mountains and lowlands which contain persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and fragrance ingredients.

Fish repository for insecticides, flame retardants, and fragrances?

Fish were examined from alpine lakes in seven regions above 2062-2637 meters sea level. The scientists found concentrations of old insecticides, and long banned chemicals like DDT, DDE, dieldrin, HPEX, HCB, HCH, PCBs, PCDD / F and PBDE in the fatty tissue of the fish . In addition to these highly questionable chemicals were found seven different artificial musks and Musk xylenes. These chemicals are components in fragrance mixtures, which are found in nursing, cleaning, laundry products and perfume.

Precipitation transports chemicals to the lake fish

Concentrations of PCBs, PCDD / F and PBDE were found in fish from high mountain lakes as well as in the lowlands. Things were very different from the concentration of synthetic musk compounds. These substances which came out of detergents and cosmetics were found in higher quantities in fish of the lowlands than in fish in higher regions. The reason is that the lakes in lowland regions are much more contaminated because sewage treatment plants release water which is still contaminated with these substances. An effect which doesn’t exist in higher mountain regions.

Everyday scents have side effects

According to the Swiss scientists, there is only one explanation for the fragrance ingredients and persistent chemicals in fish found in the high mountains: they come directly from atmospheric precipitation and air pollution. Rain, snow, and fog from our atmosphere in these regions are the cause/source for the contamination of the fish with fragrance ingredients. The environmental contamination from the everyday habits of humans cause “perfumed” fish. This development should show everyone the importance of having a critical mind in a scented world.

This year, which is more recent that this 2007 research, there was also an article in Berner Oberland about the fish in Lake Thun not being good for eating due to the chemical contamination.


Silvia K. Müller, Seit wann benutzen Fische Parfüm, CSN – Chemical Sensitivity Network

Translation: Christi Howarth


Schmid P, Kohler M, Gujer E, Zennegg M, Lanfranchi M. Empa, Persistent organic pollutants, brominated flame retardants and synthetic musks in fish from remote alpine lakes in Switzerland , Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research Laboratory for Analytical Chemistry Dubendorf, Switzerland. Chemosphere, January 2007

Related articles:

Ant poison in the health food store?

Pesticides – often underestimated

It is annoying when ants suddenly run out halfway across the kitchen, and climb up the kitchen cupboard looking for something sweet. However, street ants and bugs generally die quickly with the grip of poison. It is not a surprise to see a dusty can of pesticides in the home closet or garage, or pesticides offered in the supermarket or hardware store. Recently, however, ant poison is even available in some health food stores.

Although many consumers have become confident in dealing with pesticides, they still question how to treat this ant problem in their kitchens? If the poison kills the ants from the can, is it also possibly that this poison can also affect one’s health? Trivializing descriptions and promises on the box can lead to the underestimation of potential pesticide risks for humans and pets.

Ant poison freely available everywhere

During summer this poison is conveniently available to consumers at checkout counters, especially at the hardware store. Large shelves are built for pesticides of all kinds, to kill mosquitoes, ants, wasps, snails and whatever other pest is unwelcome.

In the summer, it is similar at the supermarket. A large shelf with various pesticides is conveniently and centrally located for consumers. Anyone who knows something about pesticides probably realizes that the products on these shelves are mostly nerve poisons. Among the ingredients are pyrethroids and organophosphates, both classes of pesticides are very harmful. For certain groups at risk, like pregnant women, and those who have chemical allergy-sensitivity, there is an increased danger. This is exactly why German authorities warn the public before they spray these pyrethroids and pyrethrum in the public’s vicinity.

The terms “natural” and “organic” lead to consumer deception

On some pesticide labels it is easy to read “natural pesticides”, “organic”, or “derived from the chrysanthemum” for of the toxic ingredient, pyrethrum. Not all such descriptions however mean that one is dealing with a completely harmless “organic poison.” Although pyrethrum is a contact insecticide derived from chrysanthemum, it has been known since ancient times for its consistent toxicity. Non-hazardous pesticides with natural attractants are rarely found.

Neurotoxic ant poison in the health food stores?

Change of scene: “What do we have here?” I asked myself recently as my eyes fell to the floor at a health food store in the refrigerated section. There was a range of small sized pesticide bottles with a nicely decorated design in pastel colors. “Well, maybe something completely non-toxic, which can be recommended to the neighbors if they have problems with insects,” was my second thought. Then I looked at the list of ingredients on the ant venom spray pump.”Natural pyrethrum” was written there. A toxic nerve agent in the health food store?

“People, who buy ant poison, should already know that!” Really?

The owner of the health food store was not far away, and it was a good opportunity to talk to her regarding the pesticide product line. With a factual explanation of how dangerous pyrethrum can be for health, especially for children, the sick, those with allergies, asthma, and pets, the health food store-owner then answered, “People who buy ant poison, should already who knows that.”

Pesticides assessed by each person, right?

This exact statement was an affirmation that even those who should be familiar with pesticides, sometimes completely underestimate their danger.

Even natural pyrethrum poses significant health risks for humans and pets. Cats can die from it. From the toxicology and medical reports, it is known that pyrethrum is harmful and can trigger allergies and asthma. So for safety sake it is better to leave this “natural” pesticide alone and try a harmless home remedy instead.

Health food stores should offer no pesticides with pyrethrum. The consumer confidence in their health food store drops by having such health hazards available for purchase. The better option, specifies an American organic supermarket chain, is to distribute free brochures with tips for small non-toxic pest control. Toxic items and multi-vitamins do not peacefully coexist in the same store.

Author: Silvia K. Müller, CSN – Chemical Sensitivity Network, 06/26/2011

Free poison tip against ants in the house and garden:

Get a bag of chili seeds from the supermarket and place several tablespoons into a glass with oil. Then wait a couple of hours and sprinkle them outside along the door. This effective barrier is completely toxin-free and one can enjoy watching the ants outside make a U-turn.

Helpful tip: Warm the chili seeds with warm oil on the stove so that the agent responsible for the sharpness of capsaicin passes quickly into the oil. You can also spread the seeds of chili without oil, but the disadvantage is that they may be spread by wind.

Helpful informations about non toxic pestcontrol Steve Tvedten

Related articles:

The cause of death for Knut, the polar bear

Were pesticides to blame for the death of Knut, the polar bear?

Many thousands of people mourn the sudden death of Knut, the polar bear. He was the darling at a German zoo. Why did Knut die? Initial autopsy results showed that Knut, the polar bear, suffered from a brain disease. A former animal keeper at a zoo reported the death of gorilla babies dying from pesticide use. The keeper herself fell ill and nearly died. Were pesticides the cause of death of the polar bear, Knut? Recent scientific research has shown that pesticides cause different brain diseases. What caused Knut’s brain disease will require further investigation. It is possible, because pesticides are used regularly in zoos to keep the zoo animals free of vermin.

All mourn the loss of Knut, the polar bear

In the media, on Twitter and Facebook, the death of Knut, the polar bear , remains the main topic for days now. The sweet polar bear was raised by a nurse with a bottle in the German zoo after his mother abandoned him. The little polar bear in no time, won the hearts of all the visitors. Now the sadness is great, and the cause of Knut’s brain disease is still under investigation. Zoo visitors witnessed the polar bear turning itself around several times and falling into the pond. Over 500 people observed the death of this polar bear and reported that he had an epileptic-like seizure before he sank into the water in his polar bear enclosure. Knut’s keeper also died suddenly at the age of 44 from a heart attack in 2008.

Dream job, but health went downhill

The young woman worked in one of the biggest zoos in Germany. She loved her job as a veterinary nurse above everything. She was responsible for the gorillas. With the bottle, she helped gorilla babies grow when needed. Most of all, she never wanted to go home after work because she loved her job so much. During her training, her health was deteriorating. The reason for her health decline was first discovered years later. Several radiological studies including SPECT, CT, and MRT scans of her brain showed severe brain damage and atrophy. Pesticides were the reason the keeper’s health went downhill.

Gorilla babies dead due to the use of pesticides

During training, the young keeper had to deal with pesticides during the spraying of the gorilla’s sleeping quarters. The pesticide nerve agents, pyrethroids and organophosphates were used. The young woman had to spray the sleeping caves. As she kneeled in front of the caves, she couldn’t avoid breathing in the poison. “The gorilla babies died, and now I know it was because they were exposed to the pesticides,” she told me several years ago when we met at a special clinic. Her immune and nervous system were severely damaged, and she had problems with her muscles and her heart was weakening. Her hair was falling out and she had the typical nerve agent seizures. She stated, “I initiated a workers’ compensation lawsuit and won.” There was no question that the health of the animal keeper was destroyed by pesticides.

Knut died from pesticide exposure?

We do not know exactly which brain disease Knut, the public’s favorite animal in the Berlin Zoo, suffered from, but further studies will hopefully determine the nature and cause of his brain disease. Pesticides may well be on the short list, because they are regularly used in zoos to keep the zoo animals free of fleas and other parasites. Certain herbicides, which are often used on pavements and along roadsides in zoos in order to be kept free of weeds, are quite capable of causing life-threatening seizures.

Author: Silvia K. Müller, CSN – Chemical Sensitivity Network, March 21, 2011

Translation: Thanks to Christi Howarth.

Related articles:

Cry for help – Young Woman in Danger

A young chemically sensitive woman is in need of help due to pesticide spraying

Elvira Roda lives in the Spanish region of Valencia and is in great need. Her family and friends are asking for international help. The 35-year-old woman is suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, MCS. The humidity and heat where she lives means an increased number of bugs and mosquitoes. The officials from her area are using highly toxic organophosphate pesticide spraying in the trees and roadsides (see video). These neurotoxins are very harmful to humans and animals. Elvira’s family drew up a petition on July 1st, 2010 to ask for assistance.

Treatment success from the specialty clinic is now destroyed, instead she faces danger

Elvira was treated at one of the world’s best environmental clinics, the Environmental Health Center in Dallas. Her physical health was stabilized and hope returned to her family. Her case was in the media for some time.

This young woman who is disabled with severe reactions by small traces of perfume has already broken down several times due to highly toxic pesticides that are being applied by the officials outside of her home. These pesticides are particularly dangerous for her because they disable a specific detoxification enzyme and the body then poisons itself.

At the moment Elvira is brought to the sea every day. It is difficult for her because she has severe sensitivity to light among other things. She gets spasms, has immune damage, and suffers from fibromyalgia. She spends the whole day on the beach, not enjoying the sand and the water, but instead staying still in a “bed” due to her bad health. There is no other solution. It is the only way to protect her from being exposed to dangerous toxins. Unfortunately there are no emergency headquarters in Spain for the chemically sensitive or in any other countries for that matter.

Young women in danger

Eliva’s parents have designed her a safe “bubble” where her living space is free of harmful substances, so that this 35 year old woman can normally cope and get along well. She has a sauna there for detoxification so Eliva has a safe haven to live in. She had a safe oasis, but that was before. Now toxic pesticides are sprayed a few yards from the house and the trees are fogged from top to bottom.

The family has informed the authorities of the danger of this pesticide spraying for the young woman. They requested notification of this spraying beforehand. Many don’t understand that these sprays used can penetrate through sealed windows and doors of apartments. These types of pesticides remain active for a long time and they can release gases for several days or weeks.

Not only are those who are chemically sensitive are threatened by these pesticides, but everyone who lives in the environment, especially babies and children whose immune systems and detoxification systems are not fully developed. The main objective of this class of pesticide is to attack the nervous system, but they can also damage the immune system as in the case of chlorpyrifos, which is one type which is known to cause multiple chemical sensitivity.

Petition in support of Elvira Roda

In order to stop this spraying of pesticides, Elvira, and the family have written a petition to the City Council. Anyone can also sign this petition and make a comment. It is important that Elvira receives international assistance. Please post on Facebook, in newsgroups, and on Twitter to help the family spread the news.

Petition for Elvira Roda:

You can sign and comment here:

Give Elvira support, strength and hope

Details regarding Elvira’s situation are on the Website Elvira Roda There you can see what her family has built for her. It would be wonderful to write Elvira and her family to give them courage to move forward in any language. English and Spanish are preferred if possible, but your own language can be translated by computer. Anyone who suffers from MCS can relate to the incredible pain Elvira must be dealing with now.

Since Elvira also suffers from electrical sensitivity, she cannot answer herself, but gets all her letters read aloud. Elvira is trying to maintain contact through her website. She writes by hand on paper, and the family and friends help to refresh the page. It can sometimes take a while to get online information, because of the intensive care for the young woman.

All the best for Elvira!

We wish you much strength and hopefully Elvira will assist in the quick understanding on the part of the City Council to move on to non-toxic pest control methods that would benefit of all inhabitants of the Spanish city.

Author: Silvia K. Müller, CSN – Chemical Sensitivity Network, 11 July 2010

Translation: Christi Howarth for CSN

Please feel free to add this article to your website or blog. Thank you!


More articles about Chemical Sensitivity: