By a Former Shell Employee
Do you recall ‘Shell Pest Strips’? These were insecticide laced things you hung in your house, kitchen, etc., and they were very popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The FDA forced the recall of those things. It turns out the stuff they were putting in those things could be about as harmful to humans as they were to the bugs.
Extracts from a related article published in 1993:
Shell Chemical had to take its “No-Pest-Strip” off the market back in ’79 because . . . well, there was that unfortunate incident of the young man dying. Shell settled out-of-court with that family, but the Environmental Protection Agency was finding hundreds of other cases of poisoning by DDVP–the cancer-causing stuff in Shell’s strip that kills pests . . . and some people. So Shell withdrew the product. But they didn’t withdraw it far . . . Just across the Mexican border.
When a Shell representative was asked if he felt guilty about endangering Mexicans, including children, he said: “Speaking as a human being, sure you feel bad. But I’m not being paid to be a human being.”
And extracts from another article:
Soon the spring-summer mass advertising campaign for the Shell no-pest strip will be urging consumers to hang these silent insect hunters in their homes.
Don’t buy unless, that is, you believe a product which vaporizes a nerve poison 24 hours a day in your bedroom, living room or family room is a necessary ingredient of modern living.
Just a few weeks ago, Dr. Lawrence R. Valcovic of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, told the EPA:
“There is sufficient evidence from non-mammalian systems to indicate that DDVP has the intrinsic potential for inducing genetic alteration . . . I would recommend that human exposure be avoided if possible.”
Shell, on the other hand, does not seem to be as concerned. It pays its laboratory testers and gets its comforting interpretations while the cash registers merrily ring up millions in annual sales.
And then there was the flexible polypropylene piping scandal of the 1980’s. It was supposed to revolutionize the household plumbing business. But there was a ‘problem’. Unlike conventional PVC piping the stuff was mechanically unstable and quickly developed leaks. The class action lawsuit over that cost Shell (and du Pont) several hundred million dollars. The damage the stuff caused to homes when water piping failed was in the billions.
I find it interesting that Shell’s actions could have affected the health of virtually every American.
Shell should stay out of the consumer products business. They don’t really know how to get it right.
Anything for a buck.