1950’s: Sydney (St George Hospital): Pesticide detected: Sodium Arsenite

In the early 1950’s, a council in southern Sydney used the inorganic pesticide sodium arsenite to kill weeds in its parks and gardens. The weed killer was sprayed liberally around areas where children played and not long after, St George Hospital staff noticed an increase in admissions for child poisoning. The cause of the poisoning remained a mystery until urine samples proved positive for arsenic. The community reasoned that the children had absorbed the pesticide through their skin and eventually the council was forced to stop spraying. p80 Quick Poison Slow Poison. Pesticide Risk in the Lucky Country. Kate Short 1994.