The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 24, 2000

Looking for old pesticide in ceramic jars

To the Editor:

Researchers at MIT are asking residents to check in their garden sheds, garages or barns for samples of the pesticide called "arsenate of lead" for us to test. In return for helping us with this study, we will properly dispose of this hazardous material for you (up to ten pounds worth).

For many years heavy metal based insecticides-herbicides were the method of choice for pest control for apple and peach orchards as well as family gardens. We are studying the use of these pesticides in the greater Boston area to learn more about the transport of arsenic and lead in the environment.

Arsenate of lead is a heavy white powder that was used in orchards, in family gardens for potato and tomato plants, and by towns combatting gypsy moths. Arsenate of lead was used widely from the early 1900s until the 1950s to 1960s when it was slowly phased out. In 1989 the US Environmental Protection Agency prevented further sale and distribution.

The pesticide also goes by the names lead arsenate and acid lead arsenite. It was commonly sold in this area in three-, five- and ten-pound glazed ceramic pottery jars. Above the stamped label the word "poison" often appears in raised letters. The ten-pound jar is approximately eight inches in height.

We are grateful for your assistance with this request. If you find a jar, please contact Dr. Daniel Brabander, MIT, Parsons Lab, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at (617) 258-6835 or by email: The material should be strictly kept from the reach of children and pets. We do not recommend that individuals handle the material by themselves unless they are experienced in the handling of pesticides. We will come to your location to ensure safe and proper handling of the pesticide.

Dan Brabander

Kate Ford Fund established

To the Editor:

Kate Ford, a seventh-grader from the Carlisle Public Schools, continues her slow recovery at Children's Hospital after suffering a brain aneurysm during gym class.

Many people have expressed a desire to contribute to a fund to help the family during this trying time. If you are interested, we have set up a Kate Ford Fund through Saint Irene Church. Please send checks, made out to Saint Irene's, to me at 5 Heald Road. Thank you in advance.

Paula Trebino
Heald Road

Student felt safe

To the Editor:

On Tuesday afternoon, right before early dismissal, the 5th to 8th grades were called down to the auditorium. Many people, including myself, thought it was about the absence of our 7th grade student, Kate Ford. Shortly after I arrived, I found out it was nothing of the sort. In the boys bathroom of the Wilkins building a message had been written, saying that the school would be bombed on the 17th of March.

Shortly after we returned to our homerooms, a notice was handed out about the incident. The next day, when I arrived at school, there was a line forming at the Wilkins building entrance. There were plenty of people there to direct us, including the staff, police, Mr. Goyer, and Ms. Fox-Melanson. They made us empty our pockets and open our bags. They checked everything I had, including my instrument. Later, when my teacher talked about the threat with us in class, she also mentioned that the whole school had been checked.

I think that the school handled this threat very well. I felt safe throughout the rest of the day. All the staff and police were very helpful and friendly. I would like to thank everyone who helped us through this.

Emily Howe
Acton Street

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito