Personal Narratives of Environmental Assault
This page collects stories from individuals, families and communities describing how exposure to environmental toxics has affected their lives.
Sidonie Smith and Kay Schaffer argue, in their 2004 book, Human Rights and Narrated Lives, that personal life narratives have been a significant factor in driving the emergence of the human rights movement around the world, and have also played an important role in redressing wrongs suffered as a result of human rights violations. Their book explores ways in which the imaginal impact of personal accounts of suffering have borne witness to injuries endured and courage manifested by those who have lived through experiences in which their basic rights were ignored.
California’s LBAM aerial sprays
In Fall 2007 the California Department of Food and Agriculture conducted two aerial sprays of synthetic pheromones over several highly populated communities along California’s Central Coast. Several hundred people reported adverse impacts. Their stories, as well as summaries of their stories, can be read here. Three video accounts below are also available.
Video of Mike Lynberg describing his collection of stories of people who suffered adverse health effects from the sprays.
Video of Major Tim Wilcox, U.S. Air Force describing his child’s hospitalization after the sprays.
Video of Laura Vitale describing her experience of the sprays as a chemically sensitive person.
- Disabled by nearby herbicide spray: Denny’s story
- Disabled by vineyard sprays next door: Diana’s story
Tell your own story
Environment and Human Rights Advisory is collecting personal narratives of individuals, families and communities who have suffered or are currently suffering adverse effects from exposure to environmental toxics. If you would like to include your story in the collection, please use the form below to describe your experience as simply or fully as you would like.
You can request that your name be disclosed or not disclosed, whichever you prefer, should your story be included on this page.
(It may be easiest to compose your story in a word processor then paste it into the box below.)
Dr Tom Kerns