Tuesday, October 7, 2008

letter to the Premier and to the Telegraph Journal!

Dear Premier Graham,

I am writing to you today about the banning of pesticides in New Brunswick. I am sure that you and your appointed members of the consultation process will be inundated with information on both sides of the issue. And I am also sure this will be a difficult decision for all of you.

For the past 15+ years I have been an outspoken activist on the subject of toxics in children. I was forced into the fray when my son, who is now 20, was poisoned by toxic cleaning products used in his elementary school. He became hyper sensitive to all chemicals, which included perfumes, solvents and pesticides, to name a few. When this happened to him he was an exemplary student in Grade 2. Within a few months he forgot how to read and write, he developed body rashes, nose bleeds, cracked and bleeding skin… there is a list! For 4 years he was in and out of the public system until the school was rendered chemically safe. But his issues did not stop there. Through out his academic career he struggled, eventually leaving school during grade 12. He is currently apprenticing as a plumber.

I worked extremely hard to create a non-toxic, safe and healthy home and environment for he and his 3 sisters. In 2006 I was asked to participate in a study of toxins in families and to my surprise; my family was the least toxic of all the families in the study.

I wish my story stopped there. I wish my story had a happy ending. But also in 2006, my youngest daughter Mary was diagnosed with a rare bone marrow disease called Severe Aplastic Anemia. The cause was investigated by the IWK and Toronto’s Sick Kid’s Hospital. There was no genetic cause, possibly a virus but they could find none. The third cause of this disease is pesticides. I was shocked and disheartened by this news. I had worked so hard to raise healthy non-toxic children. I had worked so hard to educate and advocate for change in how we look at toxins and children. Mary died November 30th, 2006 at the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto.

I wish my story stopped to, but it didn’t and each day I think about Mary and how much I miss her. I think about my remaining children and my yet unborn grandchildren and what legacy I am leaving them. I think about how angry I am that no one has done anything substantive, in my life time, to protect children from unwanted exposure to environmental toxins. I think about how many other children I have seen die in the past 2 years, and those who are still fighting with all their little might. And I wonder who will be their champion? Who will be brave enough to stand up and say no more toxins in our children!

And now you and your government have the unique opportunity to bring in a piece of legislation that could save a child’s life. I urge you to make the right choice and ban pesticides for cosmetic purposes. I implore you to be Mary’s champion and make the elimination of harmful toxins a priority for this Government.

No comments: