Posted: December 14, 2002
Last Updated: November 26, 2006
Natural gas has another danger
besides leaking deadly carbon monoxide and causing explosions. It is
not safe as the industry leads you to believe. It is poisonous to
breathe and can kill humans and animals. I did not have a faulty
furnace, I did not have carbon monoxide poisoning. My home did have
a small natural gas leak that never accumulated to the point of
explosion. What it did is poison my family and make us very ill.
Here is my story...
MY STORY by Roxanne Bedford
I began feeling ill the winter
of 1999 and 2000. I had what seemed to be a bad cold that would not
go away. A health clinic took an x-ray and saw fluid in one of my
lungs. They prescribed medicine for bacterial pneumonia but I did
not have bacterial pneumonia. I had chemical pneumonia caused by
breathing natural gas in my home. Because at that time I had not
discovered the gas leak and didn't know their was such a thing as
chemical pneumonia, took the antibiotics but I was
getting sicker instead of better.
I noticed that I was becoming
more and more forgetful like constantly losing my car keys and not
being able to backtrack my steps from the time I had them even if it
were minutes before. I was so extremely tired, like I was
sleepwalking everyday. I slept whenever I had five minutes available
to. I often could not walk straight and bumped into walls. I was
worried that this was Alzheimer's disease and I was in my thirties.
I had these episodes where my
brain felt like it was saying hold up, stop everything. I would feel
a strange sick feeling all over and quickly sit down to not faint. I
had a strong desire to clench my fists and I tried to talk to my
kids but I could only say the words "um" and "okay". My vision went
hazy and into tunnel vision. My heart beat sounded very loud and
slow. I forced deep breathes which was difficult to do because my
lungs felt like they were not expanding. My forced
deep breathes brought me out of the episodes. Once out I could not
remember what I was doing before. I had to really give it a lot of
thought or ask my kids what I was doing.
Once in an episode, I was
looking at my children unable to make sense of why people have
children. I wondered about them not being mine and being aliens. In
two episodes, I experienced claustrophobia, once in an elevator and
once when looking out at my square shaped neighborhood on a cloudy
day. I learned much later that natural gas has a narcotic effect so
basically it was like I was high on drugs but also I learned that
natural gas takes away oxygen so my brain was reacting like a brain
that doesn't have enough oxygen to function properly. It would seem
as though I was having epileptic seizures and I'll write more on
My symptoms over approximately
an eleven month period: sinus, pneumonia, vomiting upon waking,
nausea, nosebleeds, memory loss, extreme fatigue, headaches, weak
and bleeding gums and teeth, dizziness, bloating, intestinal
cramping, flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, weight gain, loss of
appetite, loss of menstrual cycles, depression, claustrophobia,
itching in genitals, loss of libido, pain in hands and feet, low
grade fever, cuts not healing, night sweats, hair loss, chest pain,
heart pain, partial-seizures (conscious) and one grand-mal seizure
I also saw many concerned
human faces appearing one after another just after closing my eyes
at night. My spiritual side says that they were people who died
trying to warn me but my common sense tells me that I was so
poisoned the narcotic effect from the gas made me see them. It is
important to know that the gas affected my health months before I
noticed the gas odor and I often stood approximately one foot from
the leak, doing laundry, without noticing it. A head cold can keep
people from smelling it and the exposure caused me to have cold
symptoms the entire length of the leak.
I was gaining weight, over 150
lbs., from 130 lbs. I was eating less because I felt sick so it
didn't make sense to me to gain weight. For a while I blamed it on
lack of exercise so I walked every evening but kept gaining. Every
morning (not on purpose) I threw up stomach acid, later becoming
tainted with blood. Stomach acid has burned away most of two lower
molars (I now know that I shouldn't have brushed my teeth after
vomiting stomach acid, I should have rinsed instead and I learned
that people who have bulimia's teeth rot too).
My health was deteriorating
and because my memory was so bad, I had to quit my evening job
delivering pizzas because I could not remember my delivery area which included
my own neighborhood. My boss knew there was something wrong with me
and was concerned. He supported me in a lawsuit I filed later. I
was able to continue my day job as a school bus driver with help
from an adult bus aid (and friend) who knew my situation and because
I wrote down on paper every street I should turn on for all of my
I didn't want to go to the
doctor before figuring out what was going on with me first. Why,
people ask me all the time did I not go to a doctor. It is because
I do not trust them. I fear being poked, tested, charged a lot of
money, wrongly misdiagnosed and on dangerous drugs for the rest of
my life. When I finally did decide to go to a doctor, all of those
fears came true.
I checked my diet. I don't
take any medications. I asked mechanics to check my car and bus for
carbon monoxide leaks. My furnace had recently had a yearly check
for carbon monoxide. The only thing different was a small odor of
natural gas in the basement, noticed in April of 2000. I called the
gas company and told them I had been ill for a very long time and
smelled natural gas. I was told to open windows, not to switch on
any lights and to get out of the house. I showed the repairman the
spot where I smelled the gas. He only brought a carbon monoxide
detector, not a natural gas detector, and, at the time, I like most
people, had never heard of a natural gas or methane detector. Also,
like most people, I did not know that carbon monoxide gas and
natural gas are NOT the same thing. Of course, the carbon monoxide
detector showed a zero reading. He told me that the zero reading
meant there was no gas leak and that it is normal to smell natural
gas near the furnace. He also said that I could not blame natural
gas for my health problems because it is harmless to health.
The leak continued to leak and
if it had accumulated enough, our place would have blown to bits.
It was a townhouse with people living on the other side of the
walls. A carbon monoxide detector cannot detect natural gas, make
sure the gas men are using the right equipment and know that you can
test for leaks yourself.
The difference between natural
gas poisoning and carbon monoxide poisoning is natural gas
poisoning is caused by inhaling the natural gas fumes leaking from
the pipe that carries it inside the house from the gas meter. Those
are "before burn" fumes. They are not yet burning in the furnace.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is caused by inhaling the "after burn"
fumes leaking from the furnace which should be vented out of the
Another example of gas
poisoning and carbon monoxide poisoning is gasoline in your car can
poison you but cannot cause carbon monoxide poisoning before burning
in the engine. It is caused by inhaling the exhaust fumes after
burning in the engine. The before burn poisoning is different from
the after burn poisoning. Some natural gas leaks are located in
between walls and are harder to locate.
With no confirmation of a gas
leak by the gas company, I complained to the rental maintenance
where I lived about the gas odor and health problems. The
maintenance worker who has an HVAC service told me I should have
never called the gas company because it is the rental property's job
to check for leaking gas. He sprayed soap and water on the gas pipe.
The soap will form a bubble at the place of the leak but it did not
work, possibly, because not enough soap was added or another reason.
The repairman left saying that natural gas is harmless to health and
the pipe continued to leak.
An evening in August of 2000,
I made plans to take my children out for an evening. I showered,
dried off, brushed my teeth, towel dried my hair and began brushing
my hair. While brushing my hair, I felt one of the strange
overwhelming feelings coming on.I grabbed a hold of the sink counter
still standing, the bathroom light looked blinding bright, I felt
hot, the room began to go dark, I had telescopic vision and had
difficulty breathing. I was angry at these spells so I closed my
eyes, held on to the counter and tried to cuss it away. It didn't
work. The room went totally dark and in an unconscious state, I
fell to the floor. My children heard jumping noises and called out
to me. When I didn't answer, they looked under the door and saw my
feet kicking. I was having a grand-mal seizure and/or asphyxiating
to death. Lucky me, I lived. I woke up feeling beat up and weak. My
lip was bleeding, I had lost my bladder and felt a strong need to
sleep. I stumbled to bed, slept a while and decided that this was
too serious to continue to try to fight on my own. I called a friend
and asked her to drive me to the ER. I had put a quarter size knick
in the door during my unconscious fall to the floor and the
landlords charged me $50.00 for a new door, nice folks that they
I wish I had never gone to the
hospital because, like I said before, my fears came true. I would
have been better off left in the woods so my poor poisoned body
could detox. I was around germs, more toxic chemicals, getting
unneeded costly tests done to my brain by untrained doctors.
Medical doctors do not have training in toxins but who knows that.
They don't offer that important bit of information when you are
laying there nearly poisoned to death, I know. I told a neurologist
that my house stunk of natural gas and asked him to test me for
natural gas exposure. He assured me that he would do the testing
but he was lying because I now know that there is no testing for
natural gas poisoning, although, I believe there must be, it is just
not used. There truly must be a test to show, if not methane, then
the added chemicals that are in natural gas in the human body.
A friend of mine went to my
home to get me some clothes and the gas odor hit her as soon as she
opened the front door. The gas was accumulating which leads to
The neurologist had costly tests run on me
(MRI, CT Scan, all negative results) and told me that natural gas is harmless to health. He diagnosed me
with epilepsy. I was completely shocked and felt betrayed. I was
given dangerous medication with horrible side effects and sent back
home to live with the deadly leaking gas.
Most people take a doctors
words as some God's but not me and I choose to keep believing this
way. I was dealing with feelings of depression along with
everything else. The depression made me weak to my beliefs and I
started taking the epilepsy medication. It made my room spin circles
when waking and on the third morning I sat up and spun out of bed
hurting myself. I found some inner strength and stopped taking the
medication. The neurologist told me that I should not have stopped
taking the meds and prescribed another kind which I never took.
I decided to learn all I could
about epilepsy especially since the only information the neurologist
gave me about the condition was to not drive for six months, no
operating dangerous machinery and no swimming alone. I found the
Epilepsy Foundation in the phone book and they sent reading
material. I learned that 70% of epilepsy cases are from an unknown
cause (70%, that's horrible), that epileptics feel healthy and
normal between seizures and that seizures can be caused by a loss of
oxygen. BINGO! Seizures are caused by a loss of oxygen. Natural gas
takes away oxygen, therefore, causing a seizure. If you have been
diagnosed with epilepsy but you are miserably ill everyday then you
might not have epilepsy because people with epilepsy feel healthy
and normal between seizures.
It was now the end of
September 2000 and I made another complaint to rental maintenance.
The HVAC serviceman was satisfied with his earlier test findings and
sent another rental maintenance man to test the pipes. The soap and
water solution was sprayed on the pipes and this time it fizzed at a
joint in the pipe and landed on the floor in a solid splat. The
fizzing was where the leak was. Again, not enough soap was added or
something else was wrong and also again, I was told that there was
no leak, that I was in no imminent danger and natural gas is
harmless to health.
I should have had the police,
fire, news reporters, the whole bit out to my house but I was not
thinking like myself, I was still very deathly ill and not thinking
like a victim. I was still sleeping any minute I could get. I
never believed there was not a gas leak but I found myself many
times trying to act like it couldn't hurt me just to not deal with
how big the issue was to me. On October 8, 2000, I was invited to a
party and felt too sick to go but went anyway and began feeling
better while there. When I returned home I immediately felt sick as
I walked in the door. That was when I knew I had had enough. I made
another call to the gas company on October 8, 2000 and I meant
business this time. The gas company repairman smelled the strong
odor of natural gas and said nothing as he ran past my daughter and
I out of the house. He shut the gas off and yelled from his truck
for me to call maintenance while he made a call from his truck. What
he was trained to do but did not do is to tell us to get the hell
out of the house, it is dangerous, and never ever should he have
told me to make a phone call from there, we could have blown up.
If I died from natural gas
inhalation poisoning, I do not believe my death certificate would
list that as cause of death and if it did I believe it would be the
first ever in this country. I wonder how many people have been
poisoned to death from this gas which has been around for years.
Doctors and government leaders are keeping the truth about the
health dangers hidden behind lies.
The leak was at the exact spot
where the soapy solution fizzed at the earlier testing. I could
touch it flat footed and it was just about a foot from where I stood
doing laundry. I never received any apologies. My mind cleared and I
became very angry, thinking it all over. I contacted a local
newspaper and a story was printed. The gas company lied in the
article stating that my call was about carbon monoxide poisoning.
The gas company, definitely the woman that took my phone call and
the repairman know I stated that I smelled natural gas. I've known
the disgusting odor since I was a kid. I may knock on your door some
day because I smell it in your yard.
Financially I could not afford
to move from there but I did move to a different unit. The
contaminated unit was rented to a family that does not speak English
well. During the entire time of the leak, I did not have a clear
thinking mind. I was groggy and drugged feeling and a lot of
memories from that period of time are gone. I was out of it and I
want people to take that into consideration when they are thinking
of all the things they would have done differently than I had. Try
getting high on a narcotic then see if you can think at all to plan
what you would do different. You and your life would be
completely different than it is right now if you felt tired, sick
and drugged all day everyday.
Had I the knowledge I have now, the correct detector (natural
gas/methane) would have been used at my first call, a repair done
and our health would not have suffered. I questioned a friend with
an HVAC service who explained to me that the gas pipe should have
had silicone paste around the joint to help prevent leakage which it
did not. He said that gas can eat through Teflon tape wrapped around
the threads on the pipe joint. Just to look at the leaking pipe, it
looked safe. Other causes for gas pipe leaks are expansion from
temperature changes, use of copper piping, older pipes, rusting and
ground shifting. Check your gas lines for copper piping and have
I decided that I should
purchase a computer and begin researching natural gas. I
experienced one last gas caused episode in Nov. of 2000 and none
since. I noticed other areas of my health getting better and I
decided to file a lawsuit. A lawyer took my case but did no work on
it so I looked for another lawyer. Many lawyers said I had a good
case, some advised suing the gas company, some the landlord and some
both but would not represent me. I bought a how to book on filing
lawsuits and filed on my own. I later learned from the defendant's
lawyer that the first lawyer put a lien on my case without my
knowledge, meaning he would collect his portion of my winnings
without doing any work. He denied having the lien in a letter he
wrote to me. I don't know who was telling the truth.
I ordered copies of my medical
records for the lawsuit and was shocked to find nowhere was there
any mention of my informing the doctors of the gas leak. I felt
scammed. I demanded a note from the ER doctor mentioning the gas and
received one from his secretary. He only cared to get as much of my
money as he could get before I had my last breath of gas and my
children would not have a mother, who also suffered symptoms and
could have lost their lives as well. There are doctors out there who
are only thinking of making more money than the doctor down the
hall. They are very good actors and can make you believe that they
care about your health. They don't care about the pain losing you
will cause your family and friends. Appointments, treatments and
prescription drugs make doctors wealthy. Wake up people, there are
a lot of doctors out there who hate their jobs too, it's the money.
There is little money to be made in telling a patient that natural
gas is harmful to health and to get their leak repaired to feel well
After doing some research on
the Internet, I took my new findings to the
neurologist. I wanted to show him that natural gas exposure causes
seizures and that I do not have epilepsy. He was very arrogant and
looked uncomfortable talking with me. I told him that I am right and
he is wrong and that he is not the only doctor on earth. He walked
out of the room shouting MORE POWER TO YA over and over with fist in
the air and he did it in front of my children. I talked with other
doctors in the Kansas City area who also disagreed with my findings
and agreed with the neurologist. At one appointment, I heard the
neurologist laughing with the nurses outside the examining room door
about the epileptic school bus driver. I wiped my tears, got tough
and kept positive about working with this new doctor. He was also
ignorant to toxic poisoning. A student doctor did kindly tell me
that my high white blood cell count should have never been ignored
when in the ER but he soon disappeared after speaking with the
comedian neurologist. I wonder what he said to him. Maybe it was,
"What are you saying son, think new BMW!"
The Epilepsy Foundation told
me more than once that they would talk with their doctors about my
findings but have never gotten back in touch with me. An area
toxicologist told me that natural gas is non-poisonous, it is a
simple asphyxiant, it displaces oxygen and that ethyl mercaptan is
the additive for odor in natural gas. This was good information for
me to have to research. Ethyl mercaptan is highly toxic too. This
toxicologist was aired giving information to the public about
anthrax yet he lied to me and told me that canaries taken into
coalmines to check for methane gas is not true. Please keep sending
me your canaries in coalmine facts readers, I do appreciate getting
I sent a complaint to the
State Board of Healing Arts on the neurologist that diagnosed me
with epilepsy (cause unknown) and lied about testing me. They found
nothing wrong. I wish my experience on each member of the board and
then let's see if they still find nothing wrong. I have spoken with
many of my local and state reps. who pay no concern about any of
this. Is this really all over money? When money infects you with
greed it can only bring you trouble. We are all equally small beings
on one big planet. Money and power can't make you any bigger than
that, you are still small. And as far as natural gas use goes, I
cannot see it lessening much by knowing the truth about the health
dangers. Smokers have been aware of the health dangers from smoking
for years and still choose to smoke. A methane detector should be
installed in every home or building with natural gas.
Today I am meeting many poisoned victims from natural gas to
pesticides to un-properly vented X-ray machines. Other natural gas
poisoning victims who email me are going through the same things
that I did. Nothing has changed for the better except they find
peace of mind in reading my story. One natural gas victim became my
legal coach and worked many hours on my lawsuit only to have it
thrown out of district court by a onetime sit in temporary judge and
then again in appeals court over the misuse of one word. I can't say
that others poisoned didn't warn me again and again that judges
don't let toxic poisoning cases win. It is a crooked system we have,
run by big corporations. Their commercials brainwash us with such
tender loving care and everyone gets out their money to give them.
Stop buying up all of their stuff that you know you don't need
because if you learn you were poisoned by it, you will get no
compensation whatsoever, not even a sorry note. Toxic tort lawyers
who are supposed to take poisoning cases wouldn't take my case, that
is really messed up. Erin Brockavich returned an email stating she
couldn't help from California. Mostly everyone poisoned by ng that
contacts me is angry and ready to sue but I tell them that they
should work on awareness instead.
I began my lawsuit pro se, by
myself, and then my legal coach helped from Texas but when I went to
court, I went alone. I was treated very poorly by legal workers. I
was treated like I had no business doing what I was doing by them
and unfortunately by most average people. Justice is going down the
drain and no one is doing anything to stop it. I believe support is
the answer. To all retired people and workers: take a day off, take
a longer lunch and sit in courtrooms. Courtrooms are public places,
you have a right to be there, don't let anyone make you feel like
you cannot sit in on a lawsuit that has nothing to do with you or
your family. Show up in large numbers and support justice. Get in
there and mean business. Speak out when you hear injustice. You
don't need to know anyone in the lawsuit, just know justice. If I
had a full courtroom of supporters, I might still not have had a
chance but it would have been a great thing to have.
I can gladly say that my hair has grown back, I lost the added
weight and I have more energy. I still drive a school bus. The
neurologist and a company doctor signed me off as being able to go
back to work, off all medication and seizure free. I have developed a condition
called Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS). Some people call it
Chemical Injury (CI). I prefer to call it CCO Common Chemical
Overload. Perfume, cigarette smoke, cleaning solutions and other
hazardous chemicals make me very ill after a short exposure to them.
It can take the next day for some people to suffer symptoms if at
all. I instantly react with a headache, sore throat, fatigue,
burning watery eyes and can even taste the chemicals I am exposed
to. I call the cleaning isle at the store the cancer isle. I still
have some intestinal problems, memory, and dental also. I do not
know if I have permanent damage done to my body. I have read that my
DNA and cells may possibly be damaged, there may be permanent damage
to my lungs and may have toxic chemicals stored in my fatty tissues.
I do know that I do not and did not ever have epilepsy.
During my lawsuit, I needed
causation from a medical doctor but most local doctors were disliked
by me, against me or scared to death of being involved in a
lawsuit. With the advice of others poisoned, I began emailing
environmental doctors trained in environmental toxins all over the
country and out. I found that it was not affordable for me to pay
the fees to even call some of them. I asked one doctor to allow me
to make payments and received an email telling me to forward all of
my material and if a financial hardship, no payments needed. I cried
tears of joy when I read his report linking the long term inhalation
of natural gas to my illness. Finally, some justice for me. I made
all of the payments, although, not expected of me and I am forever
grateful to this doctor. Please read the book he co-authored called
OUR TOXIC WORLD - WHO IS LOOKING AFTER OUR CHILDREN. It is available
to read online at
Questions I have been asked:
How could I take care of a toddler being so
The gas made all of us very tired. It is not difficult to take care
of a sleepy child.
Why didn't the gas effect your children the
way it did you?
I do not know the answer. I could have a lower immune system than my
children, it could be because natural gas rises up to the ceiling,
but whatever the reason I am greatly pleased that I was the most
affected. All of my children had colds, sinus and fatigue. My oldest
suffered mainly with migraines and my middle child had
partial-seizures which, at the time, I did not know they were
seizures. I mistook them for not paying attention. My child would
stare off into space and make chewing motions, meanwhile, I would
shout her name and clap my hands in her face getting frustrated
because it did not get her attention. After researching epilepsy I
found out that chewing motions, clenching fists, fiddling with
something like a button on your shirt, staring without blinking and
being unable to snap out of it when called, are all symptoms of
partial seizures. I feel horrible for thinking that she was spacing
off, she was having these reactions from the poisoning. Her teacher
told me on many occasions she let her sleep through recess and had
difficulty waking her after napping. Her bus driver complained about
her sleeping on the bus so much.
Why didn't I move out?
I did not want to move nor could I afford to move. I just wanted the
gas leak repaired. When I learned the truth and filed a lawsuit I
did move away.
Why didn't I tell more people?
I could not afford to lose my job. I am a single parent. I felt
enough in control of my health to work. Little did I know that
dragging my sick self to work everyday was saving my life.
***This is what I want to see being done about
natural gas poisoning... I want warning stickers placed on indoor gas
pipes or furnaces, warnings in company pamphlets and publicly aired
warnings cautioning the health dangers. Mandatory gas detectors in
all homes and buildings. Create new laws concerning natural gas
health issues, stop false advertising, change MSDS sheets to natural
gas IS poisonous. Begin public awareness of the health symptoms,
start training in environmental toxins for all doctors and legal
justice for persons poisoned. To contact people in government, here
is a government contact list
***Below is information that can be printed and
passed around your neighborhood, there are also many links for your
own research, a sample of the MCS proclamation and a tv news
WHAT THE GAS INDUSTRY DOESN'T WANT YOU TO
ABOUT NATURAL GAS...
Breathing indoor natural gas is harmful to your
health. It is poisonous. What is natural gas? Around 70% of it is
made up of methane. Methane is an asphyxiant which can cause death
by asphyxiation. Asphyxiants take away oxygen. A small leak in a
well sealed home can cause a number of health problems. Other toxic
chemicals are added to methane for odor. Plus, methane contains many
contaminants. Some are listed on the state of California's list of
cancer causing chemicals -
on Proposition 65 current list of chemicals.
What can families do to help protect
Purchase a methane detector. Smoke detectors target="_blank" and carbon monoxide
detectors do NOT detect natural gas leaks. Kidde Nighthawk makes an
explosive gas/methane detector for sale at Target. You can also
purchase a natural gas detector online. I
have no financial interest in either. Educate yourself and family on
the health symptoms to look out for and never leave a leak
AEHA (Allergy & Environmental Health Assoc.) "Natural
gas may be harmful to your health...
Choose to search the HSDB records. Type methane in the search box
and pull up METHANE CASRN: 74-82-8. Then click on Emergency Medical
Treatment in the left hand column. You will see seizures and other
symptoms listed here.
Facts about natural gas:
natural gas contains chemicals that are known to the State of
California to cause cancer, birth defects and reproductive harm.
Add gov or government in your searches to pull up
governmental information on natural gas.
The EPA also identifies and regulates toxic or hazardous air
pollution. Toxics are substances that can cause adverse health
effects if a person receives enough exposure to them. The EPA does
not list natural gas. I received this answer from the EPA when I
asked why... the EPA does not have any regulations dealing with
indoor air quality as Congress does not give us that authority. See
the EPA's indoor air quality information at: "http://www.epa.gov/iaq"
Health Effects of Toxins
Something I've learned along the way. Natural gas
contamination can lower the value of your home.
More links at Mary Brickner's website:
My 1998 Homebirth Story (It has nothing to do with nat.
gas but it does show readers that I did not like doctors long
before the gas leak happened.)
Ethyl Mercaptan (Ethanethiol) Links
MSDS-In low concentrations, may
cause narcotic effects...
Gas Dectection In Homes And Buildings
Gathering Stories About Chemical Injury
Hutchinson, Kansas A Geologic Detective Story
Fragranced Products Information Network
"Telling a person with MCS that it is only a little perfume,
is like telling a person in a wheelchair that it is only a
few steps." - author unknown
It's The Chemicals
Lung Association Scent Free Building
Methane Detectors Safehome Products
Natural Gas Information
natural gas, scroll down to Safety. Click on New London
School explosion and read about the third deadliest disaster
in the history of Texas. Then under Aftermath, click on
thiols. Under Examples of thiols, click Methanethiol and
Ethanethiol. Both are toxic, both are added to natural gas
You Don't Look Sick
I appreciate this woman's story because many sick people
Voices from the Gas Fields
Aftermath China Gas Leak
Brass Gas Pipes
Gas Leak Long Island
CA Gov. Gray Davis Signs Bill - Scroll down to Press
Please ask the President and the Gov. of your state to sign
the MCS Proclamation. Search for it online.
Proposed MCS National Proclamation - Office of
President George W. Bush
WHEREAS, people of all ages across
our nation and throughout the world have developed a condition know
as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. "MCS" is characterized by high
sensitivity to very small amounts of petrochemicals and other
irritants in our environment. It can be caused by short-term or
chronic exposure to one or more chemicals, frequently pesticides,
and solvents and can start at any age. It knows "NO" boundaries.
Every person, young, old, rich, poor, regardless of color, creed or
education, "EVERYONE" is at Risk!
WHEREAS "MCS" includes many, often
disabling, symptoms affecting the nervous, immune, respiratory,
musculoskeletal, porphyrin metabolism and endocrine systems and can
be life threatening. Symptoms may include but are not limited to
headaches, chronic fatigue, aching joints and muscles, burning
sensation, metallic taste in mouth, difficulty breathing and
concentrating, short term memory loss, irritated eyes, nose, ears,
throat, and/or skin rashes, poor coordination, heart palpations and
WHEREAS, "MCS" is a chronic
debilitating condition for which there is no known cure, causing
serious financial, employment, learning, housing, health, social and
other consequences. It is crucial for those with "MCS" to have the
support and understanding of their government, families, friends and
society as they struggle with the restrictions and isolation now
placed on them.
WHEREAS, "MCS" is recognized by
the Americans with Disabilities Act, Social Security Administration,
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Environmental
Protection Agency as well as other local, state and federal
government agencies and courts.
WHEREAS, Invisible Barriers stop
those with chemical hypersensitivity from enjoying the same rights
and privileges others take for granted but given a controlled
environment and reasonable accommodations many of the chemically ill
could once again be self-reliant and financially independent.
WHEREAS, "MCS" exists as a serious
and wide spread public health problem appropriate action by medical,
dental and governmental agencies as well as private citizens is
urgently needed. Awareness, Education, Prevention and Avoidance are
of Utmost Importance. Working together we can prevent this type of
tragedy from happening to yet more families.
THEREFORE, I, George W. Bush,
President of the United States Of America, in support of increased
awareness, education, understanding and research into the causes,
diagnosis, treatment and prevention of "MCS", do hereby officially
designate the month of May beginning 2003 and forward as
MULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY AWARENESS MONTH
President of the United States of America
FOX 4 NEWS STORY 'METHANE
MENACE' AIRED ON FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2004 AT 9:30PM.
Promo/Susan Hiland: Nosebleeds, vomiting, hair
loss, the signs, the symptoms of a faulty furnace. (CC readers
please take note that a I did NOT have a faulty furnace. I had a
faulty gas pipe. I don't know how or why that falsity was stated. I
am calling the station to request that an on air correction be
Promo/Narrator: Natural gas. It's in millions of
homes but could it be making you sick? Fox 4 unravels the mystery
next on Fox 4 News at 9:00.
John Holt: Welcome back, you know most of us can't
imagine life without the convenience of natural gas. It heats our
homes and showers and even cooks our meals.
Susan Hiland: But an Olathe woman claims natural
gas made her sick. Fox 4's Heather McMichael unravels the mystery
that started in the basement and ended at the hospital.
METHANE MENACE by Heather McMichael
Photo Journalist Ron Hirsch
Roxanne: (speaking about my job as a school bus
driver) The kids are great. I have the little ones and it's great.
Heather: Roxanne Bedford is back behind the wheel
doing what she loves.
Roxanne: (speaking about my job) It's a good time.
Heather: But three years ago she had to switch
seats and become the bus helper instead of the bus driver. Roxanne
started having seizures and could no longer legally drive a school
Roxanne: I was dizzy, I was vomiting in the
mornings, nosebleeds, my hair was falling out in large clumps.
Heather: Doctors didn't know what was wrong with
Roxanne. The only real change in her life was where she lived. About
a year after moving into this Olathe town home, Roxanne started
feeling ill. She says her place constantly smelled like natural gas.
Roxanne: I found a natural gas odor in my
basement. I called the gas company and I told them that I smelled
natural gas and that I thought I could have carbon monoxide
Heather: Friends noticed a change in Roxanne's
personality and appearance. Jan Robitaille says that Roxanne turned
from happy go lucky to homebody. Focusing more on getting sleep than
how she looked. Jan smelled the same thing, natural gas.
Jan: Every time I went over there, I could smell
it. I smelled it all over the house.
Heather: Roxanne says Atmos Energy tested for
carbon monoxide, a deadly by product of natural gas that can leak
from furnaces but the meters found nothing. She then called the town
homes maintenance company, Westerfield North. They sent out a
technician who tested for gas in a different way using a simple soap
and water method where bubbles indicate the problem, still no gas
was found. A (Neil Harris-?) technician showed us how they test for
gas leaks with a combustible gas leak detector. It's a very
sensitive piece of equipment that costs $200.00 to $400.00.
Technician: Once you hear that sound, that's a gas
Heather: Eric (?) then shows us the soap and
bubble test that anybody can try at home for free. If a bubble
blows, there's a leak.
Technician: We have a gas leak right here, it's
Heather: By now, even Roxanne's children were
complaining of headaches, falling asleep on the bus and at school
and not wanting to play. Tessa, her then six year old daughter
remembers watching Mom space out. The type of seizure that would
eventually put Roxanne in the hospital for two days.
Tessa: Mostly I remember that my Mom was, used to,
when she was having her seizures, she always used to go like this
(showing how I would sit in the chair) and she couldn't talk at all,
all she, all she could say was yes, just little words.
Heather: A doctor diagnosed Roxanne with epilepsy.
She resigned herself that she would never drive again but after
three days she threw away her medication and again called Atmos
Energy. This time they found a leak in the joint of the pipe where
the Teflon tape had worn out. For seven months, gas had been slowly
leaking into Roxanne's home.
Roxanne: I was in mid sentence and he went running
out the door to shut the gas off.
Heather: He ran out the door to shut the gas off.
Heather: What did he say on his way out?
Roxanne: He didn't say anything.
Heather: He left you in the house with your three
Roxanne: My youngest daughter was home with me.
Heather: He left you in the house with a child
while he ran out to take care of the gas situation.
Roxanne: That's correct.
Heather: We wanted to talk to Westerfield North
Townhomes and Atmos Energy about Roxanne's gas problems. Both turned
down a chance to speak on camera. Atmos issued a statement saying
that natural gas is non-toxic and has an outstanding safety record.
The letter goes on to say that the leak discovered was so tiny it
didn't register the first time using the properly calibrated
equipment and the amount detected with the soap and bubble method
was so small it posed no threat to the customer. (CC readers, please
take note that gas leak equipment was never used at the first
testing, only carbon monoxide testing equipment was used and I'm
telling you that n.g. IS toxic and that a "tiny" or "small" leak can
kill you). Remember the gauge is an expensive professional test
while the soap and bubble method is something free anybody can do at
Dr. Pierce: (KU Medical Center toxicologist) (CC
readers, please take note that this is the guy who told me that
canaries taken into coalmines is untrue). We work with things that
smell bad and hurt people.
Heather: Dr. Tom Pierce from the University of
Kansas Hospital says there might be a simple explanation for some of
Roxanne's illnesses being methane leaking out of the natural gas
pipe replaced the oxygen that we all need to survive.
Dr. Pierce: What is going down too much is oxygen
which is essential for life. Within a few breaths at a fraction of
what we ordinarily breathe the lights go out. Basically the person
loses consciousness and then that's an apparent event.
Heather: What Roxanne smelled was an odorant the
gas company adds to natural gas but Dr. Pierce cannot explain
Roxanne's hair loss or seizures. He says there's just no medical
Dr. Pierce: Not, not to my knowledge.
Heather: Roxanne moved to another home after the
repairs were made and her seizures stopped. A Kansas of Department
of Transportation doctor signed off on her health saying that she
was seizure free.
Heather: Do you think that if you hadn't found
this gas leak this could eventually have killed you?
Roxanne: Oh, yes, I sure do. I truly believe that.
Heather: These days Roxanne spends her time
researching natural gas on the Internet. Her home has a methane
detector that you can buy retail for about $60.00 and she wants
lawmakers to take the next step.
Roxanne: Stickers on our gas pipes. Something to
make people aware that it does poison you, it can hurt you.
Heather: The documented danger of natural gas is
that it's flammable like this house explosion in Georgia. So why did
Roxanne's home never blow up? No one can explain for sure except to
say the leak was so small and the home was constantly ventilated.
Heather McMichael Fox 4 News, Olathe.
Susan Hiland: Roxanne tried to sue the maintenance
John Holt: But the judge dismissed her case.
Thank you to Heather and Ron for being so kind and
working with me on this story!!!
I've read many articles on natural gas
explosions. One of the things I've noticed similar in a lot of
them is that the gas companies are found not at fault and
sometimes there is a statement from the company saying how safe
it is. This is great for them that they are protected by law to
not be blamed for indoor gas disasters and great that they have
another opportunity to advertise to the public how "hmm"
wonderfully harmless it is but I for one don't want to read that
between reading how many people died. That is not the time to
brag but to warn readers of the dangers and how they can prevent
it from happening to them.