Deadly Chemicals DDT, Roundup, Etc., Here’s a Personal Story

Good story, brought up by Guy Kawasaki on Twitter just now…

It made me post this comment to Scientific American:

   Nature Boy

Nature Boy

This expose’  reminds me of my exposure to spraying of DDT when I was a child in a Santa Clara, California orchard,  and of all the deaths of people that had been around at the time:  My dad’s employer Bill Lester, who came out to see the DDT mixed and ready for tanker spraying; Mary, his daughter; Manuel the foreman; Little Jimmy a long-time coworker of my Dad’s in the orchard. Both Manuel and Jimmy took turns driving the red tankers through the orchard as I watched from afar, then ran into the house… The company secretary, whose temporary office was just around the corner from the place where they mixed the DDT;   my Dad, who shooed me away from the DDT — “Get back! Go home, this stuff is poison!” And my Mom. They all came down with, and died from, cancer, possibly related to being around the mixing and spraying of this deadly poison, DDT.  It is an unexplainable cluster of cancer cases unless one considers the DDT exposure.

It killed everything else in the orchard — the silence, the lack of birdsong the morning after the spraying was incredible — all the big white moths and golden-eyed lacewings died, of course, and the butterflies were gone. This was shocking from a child’s perspective, a child that loved the world around him.

Home! Prettier, safer, without DDT

Home! Prettier, safer, without DDT

WHY did scientists ever believe humans were safe?   How presumptuous of people who didn’t have relatives and friends killed on account of a lethal pesticide to “pooh pooh!” the warnings now that both ample scientific evidence, plus anecdotal evidence like this, has long since emerged.

Now, as to this “Roundup” — we devise a chemical that kills everything it touches — why do we feel we’re magically immune, as we touch it or inhale it?  Or, as our children or pets do, days, weeks later?    —–Ed Augusts

Here’s a Funny follow-up  story (we need some humor about now!)  with element of panic and stupidity:  I tried to post a comment, then had to go through registering with Scientific American, at which point I didn’t see my comment on the comment list…  I assumed I would have to re-submit it now that I was an official member.  So,  I did re-submit the comment,  with some edits and additions, which I did, in the form you see above.   Only THEN, I noticed there was a 2nd, hidden page of comments...  and there, were BOTH my comments, back-to-back…  So I panicked and hit the “REPORT ABUSE!” button on my 1st comment, hoping the admin would remove it, and then I posted a 3rd comment asking that my 1st comment be removed!  At this point I broke into a cold sweat amazed at how stupid we big, clumsy Latvian-Americans can be sometimes. I am left more confused than anybody. OH, WELL!  Nobody’s perfect!   Best, —-Ed

About Ed Augusts

Please read "Strange Adventures of Ed Augusts" for hundreds of pages of info and memoir. The "Bio" page on, and "Books That Influenced My Childhood" may also be of interest.

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