The Situation Room: Autism, Vaccines, and Agent Orange
Sir Crispin Davis and James Murdoch No Longer on GSK Board

Tics and Toxins: Just Before Mystery Illnesses Hit Leroy NY, School Built New Playing Fields

By Dan Olmsted

LEROY, N.Y., January 30 -- New playing fields, including one for girls' softball, were completed the year before the outbreak of tics and other ailments began afflicting girls at Leroy Junior/Senior High School.

Aerial photographs compiled by the Genesee County assessments office clearly show the construction in progress in 2009, here:

Leroy 2009 AgeofAutism

The 2010 photo shows the completed fields, here:

  Leroy 2010

The smaller field to the immediate left of the school is the girls' softball field, according to a former student at the school. All but one of the students affected so far are girls. There are unconfirmed reports that one boy was also stricken.

School officials said earlier this month that two reports they commissioned of indoor air quality and mold had ruled out any environmental cause. New York Health Department officials concurred and a spokesman told me last week, "The school is safe." Most of the girls were diagnosed at a Buffalo neurological clinic with "conversion disorder," in which psychological stress or trauma is supposedly converted into physical symptoms that clusters of people can display at the same time.

But parents and the girls themselves have rejected that diagnosis, and other theories have been advanced; school officials now say they are ordering another round of tests. I reported last week that the first testing did not include any outside areas of the school grounds, except for reviewing school pesticide logs. Because those logs were in order, environmental factors outside the school building were ruled out. State health officials also say no infectious agent was involved.

But in any investigation of a new illness, the question of what's new in the environment -- from medicines a person is taking, to places they have been, to changes in where and how they live -- needs to be ruled out first.

Building ballfields within the past two years certainly qualifies as new. That could hypothetically create new risks, either from stirring up toxins such as pesticides on the site, or importing materials such as fill or sod that was previously contaminated. New attention has been given to a railroad derailment several miles away in 1970 that spilled both cyanide and TCE, a highly toxic manufacturing agent. Environmental activist Erin Brockovich has suggested that the school site was contaminated by runoff from that incident, or that dirt from that area was used to construct the school in the early 2000s.

Before the school was built, there were playing fields for students adjacent to the new building. I reported last week that a former student said athletes using those fields in the 1970s succumbed to a mysterious outbreak of sores and rashes. Soil was tested, the cause identified and students successfully treated, She said, though, that she did not know what the results showed.

School officials have refused to speak with me, but the father of one girl attending the school told me today that at a school event Saturday, students were told not to drink water, and to leave the building as soon as the activity was over.

The site on which the school is built was purchased in 2000 from residents living nearby who sold off part of their land. It appears to have been used for farming, as this Infrared photograph from 1995 shows. The greener vertical rectangular strip in the center of the field looks like boggy land. The girls' softball field appears to have been built on the upper portion of that strip. 

Leroy 1995 AgeofAutism

This 2008 photo shows the school, before the two ballfields to the left of it were built. The dark kidney shaped patch just to the left of the school appears to be the remnants of the bog from its days as farmland.

Leroy2008 Age ofAutism

David Lewis, who was one of the EPA's top experts on biodegredation of toxic chemicals, looked at the two environmental reports prepared for the school district and told me: "Building a school over a drained swamp always presents a potential for problems down the road of the kind that the school is experiencing. Unless you know what chemicals were sprayed or dumped on the surrounding land that drained into the swamp, you don't know what to look for.

"If the problem is caused by toxic chemicals, which are only partially degraded, it would take a major research study to figure it out. About all you do know is that the kinds of tests the consultants performed wouldn't pick up this kind of problem."


Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism and co-author, with Mark Blaxill, of "The Age of Autism -- Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-Made Disorder." He has been an editor and reporter at USA Today and United Press International, where his investigation of catastrophic side effects of an antimalaria drug given to U.S. soldiers won Best Wire Service Reporting from the National Mental Health Association.




Natural gas development and birth outcomes...:


Bene, Touches of truth, but mountains of disconnect. Allow the seeking.



Is it fair to say your some of your family does not accept vaccine damage as at least one of your family members accepted a vaccine recently?

Mary W Maxwell, PhD, LLB

To Carol of Oswego,
There is a Youtube on Lyme in which Mercola interviews his mentor, Dr Klinghardt. It runs more than an hour. The part around 9 minutes in sounds good to me. I also see a lengthy, unusual article by Mercola on Lyme that strikes me as correct (though I don't have the background needed re microbes; I'm encouraged by his remark about Gunther Enderlein and pleomorphism). I also found a Dr Rowen claiming good results by using ozone and UBI -- ultra-violet blood cleaning. (Note: after watching Rowen's Youtube re Lyme, I mistakenly thought the videos on the sidebar were also from the Rowen collection. No, they are not.) I learned about Rowen from an excellent and trustworthy book called "And Nothing Happened," by Steve Ross. Today I made a video about that -- it is on the Youtube channel of mary w maxwell.


But I would like to repeat -- that the trouble we are finding with lyme maybe in fact trouble with our immune system to fight off what it normally would.


carol hovancik
Your dog has it too!

I looked up dogs and lyme and sure enough they have it.
It says they get a limp in their hind legs.

We live in an area where lyme diseae is not endemic.
We gave our dog too many shots. The last one I did not intend for her to get because she was showing some signs of too many vaccines. But she was given another rabies shot and shortly after she was almost crippled in her hind legs.

Not only that but she became very obess. She is an out door dog - a blue heeler - a very sturdy breed not prone to many diseases.

I have been wondering about lyme. I see so many poeple that have autism in thier family also has lyme.
It almost makes me think that the vaccines damage the immune system so much that it is not fighting off lyme spirochets -- which might be something that humans have always been able to do.

We think it is because we brought back the white tail deer- and truth is they are vessels of diseae -- in which they are resistant. It is almost like their evolution survival -- has been to give diseases to all things that compete with them for food -- as in cows or hunt them as us.

carol hovancik

its lyme disease my son and I have it for over 6 years no one will help you we are in owego ny our dog is pos also


I never bought the "its all in their head" mass psychogenic illness thing. I have posted on nearly every thread I could find that this was complete BS.. Well as it turns out they have video of a plane dumping chemicals nearby that cause this condition..

Mike C

Natural gas wells on school property? Natural gas is extracted by "fracking". Fracking is done using high pressure water, sand and over 500 chemicals. The Bush/Cheney energy policy exempts the industry from having to comply with The Clean Water Act. They don't even have to reveal any of the chemicals used. Gee, I wonder why?


So this land was used as farmland before the school built the new ball fields?

How long were crops being grown on those fields, but nobody noticed any problems?


DOnt let anyone blow you off as this being stress...yes the body maybe stressed but is it stressed from toxins...or some virus... dont give up or give in to someone saying it is stress when you know in your heart it is NOT that....keep trying even if it means to go to the mayo clinic ..


Let's talk FRACKING! There are five frack sites near to the school.


One thing that has shocked me in some of the comments sections (say on the Dr. Drew site), Huffpo, YouTube comments etc. Is the number of people that are coming forward and saying that they know of similar things happening to other young people. Thank God for the Leroy 12. They seem to have shed light on something that's happening out there. I hope and pray they have the strength to deal with some of the insensitive comments that have sadly come their way.


I really hope that a thorough investigation will be conducted. There is so much that is not known about underlying causes of illnesses. The unfortunate Leroy situation warrants all the time, money and energy that it requires. Not only for the entire Leroy community, especially for the young people that we know about now are so dramatically affected, but for the sake of knowledge to benefit humanity in general. As I understand the larger question, there is just not enough knowledge gathered from thorough data collection and research to rule in OR out environmental exposure as a contributing or underlying cause of many illnesses.

I hope this results in an objective, unbiased collection of all types of data information, and objective conclusions about it.

If I were a betting person, I would lay odds on environmental causes (probably toxins) as being a significant cause of the current problem there. I completely agree with the sentiments that all too often “mental illness”, “stress” or other such vague and unproven diagnoses are used when the more accurate description would be “Science just can’t answer that question yet.” Certainly environmental toxins are just as plausible a hypothesis (and perhaps more plausible) than what has been offered as Conversion Disorder. And of course there may be other plausible physical causes beyond our understanding currently. I applaud everyone who is questioning what has gone on there, and who is contributing their time and knowledge to get a more complete understanding of the specifics of the situation in Leroy (and perhaps the much larger environment).

I was unfamiliar with this site before and applaud it's contribution to the question.



Interesting thing about pesticides in the US. In 1990's and earlier less harmful pesticides were allowed for us. Metaclor and astrazine were used b/c they have relatively low toxicity whereas the pesticides approved for use today like Round-up (Glyphosate) and Armezon are highly, highly toxic. They are in fact poisons that are being sprayed on our crops. Commercially produced food sources likely have glyphosate in it. In fact we are all being poisoned.

So a warning to all-- buy organic foods and only buy from local farms.


Are You Eating, Drinking & Breathing Monsanto's New Agent Orange?


Wonder if any of those kids have been tested for Lyme Disease???

create now

In our area, vinyl playing fields have been installed in our schools. School boards love them because of decreased maintenance costs. Lead is one concern with vinyl, but I'm sure there are others. It's disappointing that so few parents are aware of tox issues like the autism community- most are here enthusiastically supported the plastic grass.


My daughter developed tics and OCD after our town aerial sprayed BT for gypsy moths.

Theresa O

Here is an interesting search to run in Bing or Google:


There is a *lot* going on in Leroy, from CAFOs to fracking to mined land reclamation.


Just lost a lot of respect for Dr. Drew although God love him for at least covering the issue. Isn't Max Wiznitzer a paid vaccine court "expert"? He couldn't rule out PANDAS fast enough in the segment. The poor parent, James?, tried to mention his theory re. Pandas and predisposing factors and Wiznitzer shook his head and went into his "underpinning of conversion disorder" crap and how the girls are so stressed. Sure, whatever, doc. Tell that to your cronies who believe your crap! They don't want to come down on the side of any environmental cause, but PANDAS/PANS has them particularly panicked. Brockovitch says list of people in the area have experienced problems. Cox, a school board spokesperson just gave a pathetically condescending statement that also mentioned that "the treating physicians (Mechtler- the dollars for docs guy?) have ruled out PANDAS." They have? I thought results for those tests weren't in yet?! She also makes it clear she thinks all the appropriate environmental tests have been done even though Brockovitch's team wasn't allowed to take soil samples at the school. Boycott the school people!


Dan, here's a photo from the school's own website that shows that swampy area filled with water. The topography of it from this angle shows it almost looks like a retaining pond, with that tree area next to it being even lower. Easy to see how the runoff from crops -- pesticides, manure & bacteria -- would end up there. Definitely should test for atrazine and metolachlor in addition to who knows what else.

Valerie Foley

My son (autism, transverse myelitis, immune deficiency) had a major reaction to Roundup (glyphosate) being used in our neighbours garden on a windy day, last week.

Tics, OCD, sweating, compulsive swallowing. NEVER had anything like this before, it came and went over a 48 hour period.

The doctor called it a 'mental breakdown'. He is 8, with no history of significant anxiety, OCD or tics.

How many incidents do we need. We created a vulnerable generation and now we are seeing the evidence. In our families, in our houses, in our schools.

Where would the deniers be without 'mental illness' to fall back on?


I think the girls urine should be tested for these pesticides: (round-up) glyphosate and the chemicals in ARMEZON

Monsanto’s Infertility-Linked Roundup Found in All Urine Samples Tested

Tim Kasemodel

From the article in the news sidebar -

Add this into the mix:

"Methylmercury, the most toxic form of the heavy metal, was found to be widespread throughout the Northeast — not just in lakes and rivers, as had already been known, but also in forests, on mountaintops and in BOGS AND MARSHES that are home to birds long thought to be at minimal risk."

Marshes are great storage areas for many toxins as well as mercury. Who knows what kind of concoctions are being created in these "nature's test tubes"?? I am no chemist, but mercuric combinations with other chemicals could could be an issue here - if only it were not already ruled out of consideration....


Correction to my last post regarding Round-up: I should have said glyphosate not glycophosphate ..

Another herbicide called "Armezon" by BASF is available in US and just approved in Canada. Also highly toxic:

BASF receives registration for ARMEZON™ in Eastern Canada

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Jan. 16, 2012

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Jan. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - BASF Canada Inc. (BASF) has received regulatory approval for the use of new ARMEZON™ herbicide on field, seed, and sweet corn crops in Eastern Canada for the 2012 growing season.

ARMEZON leverages topramezone as its active ingredient which was first introduced to Eastern Canada in 2007 under a different brand name.

"ARMEZON offers tremendous flexibility for corn growers," says Andrew Elgersma, Marketing Manager for Eastern Herbicides at BASF Canada. "It will offer growers the crop safety and application flexibility they're looking for in seed, sweet, and field corn."

When tank mixed with atrazine, ARMEZON provides post-emergence control of common annual weeds in seed and sweet corn, including lady's thumb, lamb's-quarters, common ragweed, Eastern black nightshade, and redroot pigweed. It also provides fast knockdown of annual grasses.

ARMEZON tank mixed with glyphosate and atrazine for glyphosate tolerant corn enhances the power of glyphosate with an additional mode of action that not only acts as a resistance management tool, but also provides fast grass knockdown and improved control of tough broadleaf weeds versus glyphosate alone.

Read more:

Shell Tzorfas

"Convergence Disorder," When groups of people convert from believing pharmaceutical scientific research showing vaccines and chemicals are good for children and teens to Observing Autism, ADHD, and special needs in every fifth family. When "Convergence Disorder," affects large communities, then vaccine disruptions and chemical disorders tend to recede. Vaccination rates go down while "Mysterious Health ," goes up..


Sample the soil from both the playing fields and nearby fields for pesticide residue. Find out if any spraying occurred last fall, was a permit issued and what chemical was applied.

Interesting article hear on Monsantos "Round-up" (glycophosphate) widely used herbicide and endocrine is very toxic

Are You Eating, Drinking & Breathing Monsanto's New Agent Orange?

This is an old report but interesting..

Pesticides and their Metabolites in Selected Surface-water Public Supplies in New York State, 1999


Dr. Drew just said he spoke to a doc who specializes in environmentally induced disorders and he said the field is in its infancy. You can say that again! Especially when they don't want to admit that certain things like vaccines or other environmental toxins can have ill effects on people. Anyone who looks into it even remotely gets Wakefielded. The Canary Party is truly needed! Parents take back your kids' health.

just saying

Don't drink the water. Not a good sign.


Dan, It is great you are on site.

I am sure the mainstream media will be trying to avoid the issues you may locate. Issues which may be considered common knowledge and history of the area.

Watch out for the groups of "debunkers" who may be on site trying to debunk everything.


"Conversion disorder" sounds like nonsense to me. Of course, this is just common sense, but they need to find out everything that these girls (and that one boy, if he has the same symptoms) have in common, that means, anything that has happened to all of them and anything that all of them have done before having symptoms. My first thought was vaccines, in particular, Gardasil--and I would not rule that out. Where have each of them gone, what have they done, what have they eaten, what have they drunk--if they drank water, from where? What vaccines have they had in the last few weeks or month?


It's good to know that you are there and applying real logic to the situation. It's possible that someday there will be answers rather than the brush-off of a "conversion disorder" diagnosis.

Jeannette Bishop

I'm not sure if these can be seen on the maps above, but several reports point out that the district owns 5 natural gas wells "on the school's playing fields."

Were school authorities too been quick to shut down inquiry because of growing public distrust of hydraulic fracturing. The combination of a school district with natural resource mining interests doesn't seem compatible, though I'm personally not convinced the wells are the source, and one also has to wonder at the decision to build a school on the location as described.


It is possible to find a satellite photo of the "plume" that resulted from that TCE spill.

As an FYI for folks here, TCE is metabolized according to these pathways:

Perhaps the parents of these kids would get more respect from doctors etc. if they insisted on the word "myoclonus" instead of "tics." See:

SECONDARY myclonus -- Secondary Myoclonus
Most patients with myoclonus have secondary, also known as symptomatic, myoclonus. The list of associated conditions is lengthy and includes "TOXIN EXPOSURE."

Parkinson's disease, most certainly a health problem which includes difficulties with muscles, has just recently been linked with TCE. Wikipedia says, "Most often, myoclonus is one of several signs in a wide variety of nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease . . . "

These kids aren't being thought of as Parkinsonian candidates because they are sudden and acute cases. But maybe their exposure has been large, in addition to being sudden?

There are reports on TCE (and other industrial chemicals) being linked to Parkinson's, going back to at least the 1990's.

One of the most recent is here:
Trichloroethylene and Parkinson disease. Zaheer F, Slevin JT. Neurol Clin. 2011 Aug;29(3):657-65. Epub 2011 Jul 7, review.


I would also like to comment on the report on the norhteastern birds having mercury though. North east is too large of an area --- it should have been lots of small studies done in small defined areas.

It was also just "assumed" in the report that they knew where the mercury was coming from, much too broad and easy target of coal burning factories-- that is why areas must be defined?

It was also thought to be mercury but the report never said how they decided it was mercury?


We live in a drained swamp...(i think Deer and Offit) have been long for anything sprayed will end down on us...

Thanks for that looks like a serious problem for sure


pass the popcorn

Contaminated soil is converted into athletic fields = conversion disorder.

It all makes sense now.


Way to go, Dan. I'd don't think I'd be letting my kids go there until they have it figured out, especially if it's true that new cases have recently surfaced. I hope the school changes their stance about seeking outside help and I'm glad the girls are seeing neurologists who are not writing it off as "conversion disorder." it does beg the question, however, how many other times has some person with environmental poisoning been told they have "conversion disorder?" Scary.

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