Can I get my S'mores Frapp without the toxic pesticide? According to NBC, two lawsuits filed in New York City are claiming several Starbucks locations have exposed customers to a toxin that is not only dangerous, but potentially deadly.
In one of the class action suits, 10 customers raised concern over the presence of Dichlorvos (also known as DDVP) in stores. The ingredient, which is found in common pesticides like Hot Shot No-Pest and is emitted into the air, has been used in a number of Manhattan-based Starbucks stores.
The brand reportedly uses the strips to prevent insects and other other common city pests, despite the fact that it poses a risk to humans. The lawsuit included photos of the strips located nearby bagels, food prep equipment, and air vents.
Meanwhile, NBC notes that a manager brought up the issue and was subsequently fired. A pest control technician also complained in June 2018. And yep, you guessed it-his company's contracted was then terminated. This is not a good look for you, Starbs.
"Stores throughout Manhattan have for many years been permeated with a toxic pesticide called Dichlorvos, which is highly poisonous and completely unfit for use in proximity to food, beverages and people," the suit says. A fact in which the Center for Disease Control and Prevention backs up-they should only be used in enclosed spaces when customers are either not around or are provided some sort of breathing apparatus.
Even the Hot Shot website tells consumers to not use the strips in "kitchens, restaurants or areas where food is prepared or served." Like, how did they miss this? Sooooo, what could happen if you're exposed to DDVP. Well, it's not good. The symptoms include loss of bladder control, muscle tremors and weakness, trouble breathing, nausea, and paralysis, the lawsuit states. Also, DEATH. I am not willing to risk it for a latte.
"On numerous occasions over the last several years, Starbucks’ employees and third-party exterminators have informed regional and district management – both verbally and in writing – about the improper and dangerous use of No-Pest Strips throughout stores in Manhattan," the lawsuit continued. "Needless to say, Starbucks has closely held this information and has not disclosed to the public that DDVP has poisoned the environment in its stores."
The plaintiffs from the second lawsuit cited emotional distress and anxiety "that they would develop serious health issues," and are hoping to score damages.
According to spokesperson for Starbucks, once the company learned of the ongoing complaints they stopped using them. They also reportedly hired an expert who claims customers are at no risk. But like, are we sure they aren't just saving face at this point?
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