September 5, 2008
Ralph C. & Gloria L. Gilbert
14205 Ingham Road New Freedom, PA 17349, 717-235-5349
Shortly after my wife and I were assaulted with toxic and noxious fumes from a sludged field adjacent to our property, I developed a skin rash which covered a large portion of my body. The effluent vapors from the sludge applied to that field caused our throat and nose to burn and made difficult to breath, we could not go outside or have any outside activity. We had to close all our doors and windows and stay in one room. The effluent penetrated the house anyway and even the fabric of our furniture. My wife Gloria Gilbert had breathing problems and those condition was exacerbated by this noxious vapor from the sludge fields. We have experience these noxious vapors on several occasion over the last couple of years.
There were several different effects that we experienced in our breathing, sinuses and body in addition to the rash. I (Ralph Gilbert) first started itching and developed a skin rash on or about April 19, 2007. This continues on my body today. I went to see my family doctor who sent me to the local dermatologist in York, PA. The dermatologist told me that the rash because of dry skin it was on parts of my body that were definitely not dry. It was clear the rash appeared in certain parts of my body and the skin was clearly not dry or was it worse after a shower. The itching was so intense and persisted for some time. May 17, 2007 referred me to Hershey Medical Center dermatology department in Hershey Pennsylvania. I was given spheroid ointment the rubble my body which read some of the itching but did not affect the rash. The dermatologist reported a red, itchy plaques and hives on abdomen. A skin biopsy was taken. I was treated with prednisone and the rash subsided 80%. The Hershey Medical Center could not determine the cause of the outbreak and the skin biopsy was not conclusive for any know condition. In December 2007 I made a second visit to Hershey Medical Center/ Diane M. Thiboutot/Harper N. Price told me I had dry skin, prescribed Triamcinalone ointment and skin moisturizers. These remedies had no effect in reducing the rash and itching. The out break the abdomen cleared up with prednisone, however the rash continued on my arms and legs.
In January 2008 my family doctor referred me to the local allergy clinic. I was tested for multiple allergens with negative results for all allergens tested. The allergist concluded it was some for my rash but this doctor did not know source of the cause. Later I was placed on a regiment of antibiotics for several weeks. Within weeks the rash subsided, however several weeks after the antibiotic treatment, the rash return in the same places. The itching and pain is very uncomfortable. I have never had or been treated for anything like this before the sludge was spread and I have lived on this property for over 30 years.
Several of my neighbors have exhibit a similar rash and symptoms. Some reported rashes increasing from drinking their well water. I noticed that the drinking my well water caused the rash to intensify so I started drinking bottled water which caused the intensity of the itching to decrease. My well water was tested and found that the nitrates were above the acceptable level for had to install a reverse osmosis unit on the water. At this writing, September 5, 2008, the rash has not healed and continues to trouble me and I believe my family health threatened and our way of life has been drastically altered.