Spokane is now suing, and the ‘Poison Papers’ show why
Carol Van Strum
St. Louis Public Radio has published a new article about The Poison Papers and Carol Van Strum. Van Strum is an activist who collected the documents during her past 40 years involved in lawsuits against chemical companies and the federal government.
“It began in the early 1970s, when Van Strum’s family saw an ad in the San Francisco Chronicle and moved to a farm in the Siuslaw National Forest.
Soon after, she said, they were sprayed by a helicopter with 2,4,5-T — a component of Agent Orange — that was meant to treat a timber crop on nearby public land.
She banded together with neighbors, sued and won an injunction to stop the spraying.”
The hope is that the newly digitized Poison Papers will aid in current efforts to protect the public from toxic exposure.
“Bill Sherman, assistant attorney general for the state of Washington, said he was reviewing the new documents and expected they would be involved in the state’s lawsuit against Monsanto.
‘They confirm that Monsanto was aware of the harms that their PCBs were causing and continued to sell them without telling the public or their customers,” Sherman said of the documents.’”
The Poison Papers became news today with the publication of Sharon Lerner’s interview with Carol Van Strum in The Intercept.
Depicts Carol Van Strum’s long history of collecting and working with crucial documents exposing human and environmental health hazards. This excellent article nevertheless only skims the surface of some of the important documents contained in the Poison Papers collection.
“Along the way, she amassed disturbing evidence about the dangers of industrial chemicals — and the practices of the companies that make them. Two documents, for instance, detailed experiments that Dow contracted a University of Pennsylvania dermatologist to conduct on prisoners in the 1960s to show the effects of TCDD, a particularly toxic contaminant found in 2,4,5-T. Another document, from 1985, showed that Monsanto had sold a chemical that was tainted with TCDD to the makers of Lysol, who, apparently unaware of its toxicity, used it as an ingredient in their disinfectant spray for 23 years. Yet another, from 1990, detailed the EPA policy of allowing the use of hazardous waste as inert ingredients in pesticides and other products under certain circumstances.”
To read the full article “100, 000 Pages of Chemical Industry Secrets Gathered Dust in an Oregon Barn for Decades — Until Now” by Sharon Lerner in The Intercept (July 26, 2017) go to: https://theintercept.com/2017/07/26/chemical-industry-herbicide-poison-papers/