Ethan A. Huff
Aug 20, 2012
Dallas County, Texas, and several nearby towns and cities in the Dallas area are currently being forcibly sprayed with toxic insecticides as part of a government effort to supposedly eradicate mosquitoes that may be carriers of West Nile virus (WNv). The mass sprayings, which are ramping up all across the country, involve blanketing entire areas with chemicals sprayed via airplanes, a highly controversial protocol that threatens not only all other insects and animals exposed, but also humans.
According to the City of Dallas, more than 380 state-confirmed cases of WNv have been reported throughout Texas this year, and at least 16 people in the Lone Star State have died in conjunction with the virus. The specifics of these cases and deaths have not been publicly released, but authorities insist that the situation is serious enough to warrant a series of at least three conjunctive aerial sprayings throughout Dallas County, including in Highland Park and University Park.
The chemical product being sprayed is known as Duet, an “advanced dual-action mosquito adulticide” that contains both sumithrin, the active ingredient in another mosquito pesticide known as Anvil, and prallethrin. Both chemicals are known to be highly-toxic neuropoisons that target not only mosquitoes, but also bees, bats, fish, crickets, and various other animals and insects (http://www.clarke.com/images/pdf/MSDS/2012MSDS/duet-msds.pdf).
Sumithrin, a synthetic pyrethroid, is known to kill bees, and is linked to the widespread bee die-off phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). In tests, sumithrin has been shown to damage human kidneys and the liver, and is also linked to causing both liver and breast cancers. Household pets exposed to sumithrin are also at risk of serious health complications, as are fish and other aquatic animals (http://www.pesticide.org).
Prallethrin, another synthetic pyrethroid, is hardly any better. A 1993 study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives suggests that prallethrin is a human endocrine disruptor. And like sumithrin, prallethrin is highly toxic to bees and other creatures besides just mosquitoes, threatening to very seriously disrupt the natural ecosystem of areas sprayed with it (http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC35755).
Despite all this, officials continue to publicly insist that the spraying chemicals, the details of which are not being openly disclosed, are harmless to humans, though there is no legitimate scientific evidence to back this claim. Instead, residents are simply being told that the sprayings are safe and necessary — and many local residents seem content with this, having little or no concern about the harmful consequences of exposure.
In a recent photo published by the San Francisco Gate, for instance, local residents can be seen enjoying themselves on an outside patio at a local Dallas bar while spraying planes bombard them with chemicals overhead. As you will notice, these individuals appear to be amused by the large, toxic plumes in the sky (http://www.sfgate.com).
The same report explains that many local residents have been largely “unfazed” by the sprayings, and even the warnings to stay indoors while they are taking place. Many local residents have reportedly continued on with their normal routines despite the sprayings, including jogging on outside trails and engaging in other outdoor activities (http://www.sfgate.com).
Meanwhile, cities in Illinois (http://www.suntimes.com), California (http://www.nctimes.com), Massachusetts (http://www.boston.com), Pennsylvania (http://salisbury.patch.com), and elsewhere are also conducting their own aerial sprayings for WNv at the recommendation of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
According to research compiled by the group Stop West Nile Virus Spraying Now (http://www.stopwestnilesprayingnow.org/), aerial spraying endeavors are not even effective at preventing the transmission of WNv. Dr. Wallace LeStourgeon, a molecular biologist from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, says there is no evidence to show that aerial sprayings legitimately fight West Nile Virus (http://www.stopwestnilesprayingnow.org/Evidence.htm).
Contrary to the reassurances of public officials, there is also no evidence that aerial spraying chemicals are safe for humans. A Center for Public Integrity review of data compiled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows that pyrethrin chemicals can cause severe reactions in many people, and may be responsible for injuring and killing far more people than they theoretically save from dying of WNv.
“Both peer-reviewed scientific research and mathematical modeling demonstrate that spraying is ineffective for WNv,” says a recent report by California Progress Report. “A model widely used for infectious diseases produced two important conclusions when applied to WNv transmission: 1) early, sufficient treatment for mosquito larvae is the key to control; 2) treatment aimed at adults later in the season cannot possibly eradicate the virus.”
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This article was posted: Monday, August 20, 2012 at 3:07 am