Chemical weapons concerns
All arguments in favor of aerial spraying against mosquitoes again this year are based on two unfounded assertions. One, that the chemicals used (sumithrin, piperonyl butoxide, and naptha) are safe at the levels being applied; and two, that the pesticide is effective at reducing the targeted mosquito population.
No studies have been done to prove the pesticide is safe. Sumithrin belongs to a class of neurotoxins called pyrethroids that are known to have a long list of negative health affects including nerve, kidney and liver damage, and which function as endocrine disruptors — playing havoc with the body’s hormones. Small children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable.
Piperonyl Butoxide is classed as a possible human carcinogen by the EPA and is toxic to bees and fish even at concentrations of one part per million.
Naptha (aka white gas or Coleman fuel) is also classified as a possible human carcinogen, with its own long list of health impacts.
For some, yearly exposure to these chemicals would be an acceptable price to pay if they could at least rest assured that the threat from EEE would be reduced. Unfortunately, there is little evidence for the effectiveness of the pesticide at reducing human infection rates, and at least one study showing that application of this pesticide actually resulted in an increase in the targeted mosquito population.
Once again, I face the option of feeding my growing toddler seriously contaminated food from our gardens and orchards. or tossing the entire harvest and buying less healthy, more expensive food from the supermarket.
I find it unconscionable that in the year 2013 in the United States of America, people find it acceptable to douse unwilling participants with toxins based on such flimsy evidence of a greater good and such obvious evidence of potential harm.
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