PACE was established in 1987 in response to the
needs of people being poisoned by contamination of homes with the now banned pesticide,
chlordane. It became heartbreakingly apparent that there were few if any
supports for pesticide victims. There were well organized nonprofit groups with
information and advice on pesticides, who served as brilliant lobbyists in
Washington. But few of these groups welcomed the grief and frustration expressed
by pesticide victims.
PACE exists to respond to the need for comfort and support by
pesticide victims. PACE provides support to fellow pesticide survivors on an all
volunteer, not-for-profit basis. There are no charges for information,
counseling or other services. PACE is unique in that true empathy is expressed
through shared experience.
PACE volunteers have truly experienced the grief of betrayal by
pesticide manufacturers, applicators, state and federal regulators, politicians,
doctors, and attorneys. Often even our families and closest friends fail to
recognize our suffering and injuries and thereby compound the pain.
PACE volunteers know the shock and consequent depression and anger
felt when pesticides have wrecked our lives and we discover there is no social
service agency to help. Families can become homeless and disabled over night.
Marriages often end in divorce. Chemically disabled children can no longer
attend school. Few doctors can even diagnose pesticide effects. There is no
effective treatment for pesticide injuries. Families become more and more
If Social Security does approve the chemical disabilities of the
pesticide survivor, but most often it does not, Medicare and Medicaid do not
provide necessary support or care. Finding any form of medical care for
pesticide injuries is nearly impossible, always frustrating, physically
depleting and demanding.
People disabled by chemical poisoning who have become chemically
sensitized suffer additional injury and illness from toxic exposures encountered
in their doctors office, medical clinic or hospital. PACE volunteers know, they
have walked a mile in the shoes of a pesticide survivor. PACE acts as a resource
for research and information into legal, medical and industry facts surrounding
PACE serves as a clearinghouse for information gleaned by
pesticide survivors on legal and medical experts. This service is a legal and
medical referral process directed by and for pesticide survivors. PACE monitors
pesticide victim's cases for fairness and comprehension on the part of
physicians, scientists, judges, attorneys, jurors, social service providers and
others that influence the lives of pesticide survivors.
Particular care is taken to research, record, and monitor children
who are disabled and injured by pesticides. PACE urges the establishment of
pesticide manufacturer funded alternate housing, household goods, and schooling,
provision of medical care, and financial support for injured, disabled,
dispossessed and homeless pesticide victims while they await the lengthy
PACE recommends that funds for these emergency provisions be
provided by a use tax on pesticides. This fund would serve as interim support
for victims and a manufacturer incentive to settle suits fairly and
expeditiously in order to keep use taxes at their lowest. Use taxes on
pesticides would have the added benefit of reducing pesticide use as recommended
by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Pesticides are responsible for a significant portion of people
disabled by chemical poisoning. These disabilities often result in severe
reactions to very low levels of many chemicals.
PACE recommends establishment of "Medical Sanctuaries for the
Chemically Disabled". Public taxes are used to provide sanctuaries for any
number of threatened animals. Public taxes should also be used to provide
sanctuaries for children and others disabled by chemical poisoning as a result
of dangerous products that should never have been on the market. The chemically
poisoned are constantly threatened by the modern world's ubiquitous use of
TAX-FUNDED LEAST-TOXIC HOUSING in environmentally pristine sanctuary areas within
Federal Forest Lands are needed for persons disabled by chemical poisoning.
These "Medical Sanctuaries for the Chemically Disabled" should provide:
1. Schooling for all ages of people disabled by chemical
poisoning, at all levels. Schooling should include remedial assistance for
chemically induced brain injuries.
2. Specialized home health care services such as extended shopping
services and specialized cleaning services to prevent additional exposures.
3. Provision of least toxic exercise, sauna, and swimming
facilities. Public facilities of this type are not accessible to people disabled
by chemical poisoning due to injurious levels of toxic exposures.
4. Individual housing units with minimal ten acre protective
bumper zones around each housing unit. Shared housing such as apartments or
duplex housing is not accessible for persons disabled by chemical poisoning due
to communication of odors between units and the great variety of products
causing various reactions.
5. Centralized nursing home facilities are needed for persons
disabled by chemical poisoning. Conventional nursing homes represent a
particular nightmare for the chemically disabled who are too elderly of fragile
to care for themselves without nursing home type assistance. The constant
assaults from toxic exposures in cleaning products and from other nursing home
patients make life a particular misery. The never ending need to educate the
high turn over of workers concerning the need to refrain from wearing neurotoxic
personal body products.
6. Food preparation areas for those who need assistance with food
preparation and special diets.
7. Communal organic gardening area to provide guaranteed source of
organic food. Public support for pesticide victims ought to be provided.
Despite the federal law entitled the Americans with Disabilities
Act (ADA) which mandates access for the chemically disabled, there are few
provisions made. The Disabilities Rights Section, Division of Civil Rights
within the Department of Justice, according to a Justice Dept. worker, has not
taken action on a single complaint from a person disabled by chemical poisoning.
Reports of abusive behavior, obvious prejudice and discrimination on the part of
the bureaucracy mandated to protect people disabled by chemical poisoning are
all too frequent.
The Justice Dept. allows disability bigots to require a higher
standard of proof of disability for access provisions from persons disabled by
chemical poisoning. The Justice Dept. justifies this by saying this
discrimination is allowable because people disabled by chemical poisoning have
"invisible disabilities". There are many people disabled by lung and heart
conditions as well as others that are similarly "invisibly disabled", yet they
are not challenged and vilified in this manner.
PACE is working to expand public understanding and ADA compliance
in this area. Access provisions are unavoidably necessary in hospitals, doctors
offices and clinics. Hence, PACE is diligently working to bring compliance to
medical care facilities.
Political power and fairness are not available to people disabled
by chemical poisoning if they do not have access to public hearings and
meetings. PACE works to gain access to public venues for all people disabled by
chemical poisoning. Children disabled by chemical poisoning suffer lifetime
isolation, public neglect, ridicule and abuse.
There are less than a handful of schools that accommodate the
needs of these children. Disabled children are frequently denied needed remedial
assistance from chemically induced injuries by schools, Medicaid, and insurance
companies. Remedial therapy is particularly needed for subtle neurological brain
damage such as mild toxic encephalopathy. There is no summer camping facility,
Special Olympics, or therapeutic riding facility that considers the needs or
accommodates chemically disabled children.
PACE supports the establishment of children's facilities and
specialized remedial therapies for the chemically disabled child. PACE provides
public comment on behalf of pesticide survivors for the edification of elected
and regulatory officials as well as public service providers. PACE provides
support for pesticide survivors during petitions and hearings with regulatory
PACE issues press releases and letters to editors in support of
protective and sustainable public policy. Although PACE volunteers work with
physical handicaps, often in pain and usually under financial duress...they
persistently attempt to relieve the suffering of other pesticide victims because
they know and live the anguish of the pesticide survivor and because in doing so
they find comfort themselves.
Disabilities caused by chemical poisonings are truly preventable.
PACE hopes that through persistence and education these tragic injuries will
Please join PACE in a show of support for pesticide survivors. Ask
your public officials to provide for the needs of people disabled by chemical
poisons. Please take action to prevent future disabilities by using alternatives
to pesticides and other toxic products.
PACE asks for no monetary donations, although they are gladly
accepted. We would ask for your compassion; for you to take the extra time to
educate yourself and others about chemical injuries and disabilities; and we ask
for your prayers, moral support and solidarity in our efforts to comfort the
poisoned and stop the poisoning.