About Me

September 8th, 2001

My name is Barbara Rubin and I became disabled in September of 2000 as a result of cumulative effects of pesticide exposures. Chemical sensitivity resulted from residential, organophosphate poisoning in 1985 and worsened over the years from exposures to routine occupational applications of the same product (Dursban).

Many years elapsed before medical acknowledgement of such issues was accessible to me. Then, contrary to agreed upon accommodations in the workplace, six months of exposures to pyrethroid insecticides left me with central nervous system damage and unable to continue my career as a speech and language pathologist, college instructor, school/clinical administrator and supervisor. Clinical evidence of reduced protective mechanisms which permit detoxification of such exposures was clearly evident upon testing for paroxonase and acetylcholinesterase levels, all of which remain depressed.

I currently spend my limited number of productive hours researching and writing about these issues, in order to advocate for public safety from toxic chemicals.  I also help run an internet support group for others who are chemically injured, which has led to an incredible journey into the realm of economics, politicals and science.  The evidence is quite clear regarding this widespread, though often unrecognized, source of ill health in America today.  Preventable illness will only be reduced or eradicated by consumers, who are unwittingly providing financial rewards to industry for harming them. 

 As political reform seeks to increase transparency of government, so must consumers question why we aren’t permitted to know the ingredients in all of the materials we purchase (e.g. formaldehyde in construction materials; benzene derivatives in fragrances; flame retardants in electronics and fabrics; pesticides in foods and personal care products; food additives, irradiation etc.).  Given that the majority of the population continues to advocate for the right for women ‘to choose’ whether or not to give birth, it is hard to believe that Americans  have no right to ‘choose’ what we eat, drink, wear and breathe out of sheer ignorance.  Since the EPA tells us indoor air quality is two to five times worse than outdoor air, we are obviously making the wrong ‘choices’.  Decision making takes data,  so the first step will obviusly require full disclorure of product ingredeients. 

 A simple contract between vendor and consumer – tell me what I am getting for my money!  I hope this will become the mantra of all educated  consumers, Only then will be be able to  consume less in the way of health care services (16 percent of the GNP) and  increase productivity and quality of life for all. 

 My sincere thanks go to LaVonne Ellis for creating and managing this blog for me and all of the incredible individuals who have allowed me to continue this journey against all the odds.

Categories: Letters

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