- As more of the public becomes informed, it is becoming
all too clear that there is no comparison between the number of human cases
resulting from West Nile Virus and the vast human cost of spraying toxins
into the air we breathe. In addition to the irreparable harm done to adults
and children and the environment, spraying pesticides simply does not work.
- As the West Nile virus was found in a few birds in Dallas
and the first human cases of the virus has been identified in North Texas,
the debate in about the effectiveness of pesticides and their toxic effects
on humans and wildlife has begun once again...and more people are getting
- Dallas Public Health and environmental officials have
sprayed pesticides in the Dallas area over the last couple of weeks after
the discovery of 3 persons (all recovering) testing positive for the West
Nile Virus. Though limiting the ground spraying to affected areas this
year, adequate warnings about the dangers associated with exposure to pesticides
have not been shared with the public.
- Officials in cities all over the country have approved
ground spraying and even aerial spraying (with and without public knowledge
or approval) of potentially dangerous chemicals into the environment in
which we live, work and play. Investigations are now underway to expose
covert spraying operations and to organize opposition to these kinds of
- David Jefferson and others in the environmental management
office for the Tarrant County (Fort Worth Texas) Public Health Department
have vocalized concerns about the overuse of pesticides and has applied
a far more effective approach to handling the mosquito population.
- "Spraying toxins in the air upon the population
with such low yield results...even with 1 case of human WNV identified
in that county is not being recommended or applied in this county. Ground
and aerial spraying only eliminates the adult insects in contact with the
- Along with many other health experts, Jefferson agrees
that larval control and elimination of breeding grounds is a much more
effective -- and safe -- approach to lowering risk (which is already minimal)
of human contraction of West Nile Virus.
- One thing is for sure--cancer, brain and neurological
damage, behavioral and reproductive problems will result in a significant
cross section of the population if we allow the continued and unwarranted
use of pesticides in agriculture, our homes, our schools and most significantly
that being sprayed in the air throughout our communities. Research now
shows that even those pesticides with less toxic effects (such as Pyrethroids)
will have devastating effects upon children and adults.
- Excerpted From a Center For Disease Control FAQ:
- "Q. If I live in an area where birds or mosquitoes
with West Nile virus have been reported and a mosquito bites me, am I likely
to get sick?
- A. No. Even in areas where mosquitoes do carry the virus,
very few mosquitoes"much less than 1%"are infected. If the mosquito
is infected, less than 1% of people who get bitten and become infected
will get severely ill. The chances you will become severely ill from any
one mosquito bite are extremely small.
- The risk to contract West Nile Virus encephalitis is
extremely small 1 in 300,000 people and affects only those with impaired
- "Based upon experience, we know that typically less
than one tenth of one percent of people bitten by infected mosquitoes
develop any clinical signs of disease, and of those who do develop disease
symptoms, most do not develop the serious encephalitis manifestations.."
Michael Gochfeld, Professor of Environmental and Community Medicine, the
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
- WHY -- if there is such a small risk of humans getting
infected from mosquitos that have such a small risk of contracting the
West Nile Virus from infected birds-- are we allowing our officials to
put us at such great risk of suffering from the horrible effects of pesticide
- One has to wonder why the information about the harmful
effects of pesticides are not more prominent in the news and why spraying
is instituted without any calculation of the devastation that is caused
by it. Risks and benefits must be weighed very carefully with an informed
public at the helm.
- Consider the Following:
- PESTICIDES LOWER IMMUNE SYSTEMS THAT CAN FIGHT OFF WEST
NILE & OTHER DISEASES
- The UN report continues: "Ironically the very 'defense'
against West Nile Virus is making birds and humans far more susceptible
to this virus and other viruses and bacterial infections.
- There are well known safe approaches that can be used
to control mosquitoes and prevent West Nile Virus.Apart from such well
known measures, the best protection against West NileVirus encephalitis
is a healthy immune system. Exposure to pesticides is now recognized to
be detrimental to human as well as animal health and all immune systems.
- Spraying pesticides (aerially or on the ground) poses
much more danger to public health, especially to children, than the extremely
small health presented by West Nile Virus."
- PESTICIDES CAUSE DELETIONS IN WHITE BLOOD CELL CHROMOSOME
- A 1996 study found that in experiments of human white
blood cells (white blood cells are the back-bone of our immune system)
that malathion was causing "deletions" in one section of the
- The scientists stated, "This work provides the first
evidence of an association between malathion exposure and specific mutations
in human T lymphocytes."
- ...Your lymphoctes are a type of immune system cell which
is extremely important in removing viruses and cancer cells from the body.
...The lesson to be learned from this is we do not want to expose ourselves
to chemicals (such as malathion) that can accelerate gene loss in important
cells which are protecting us from bacteria, viruses, etc.
- Genetics Laboratory, University of Vermont, Burlington,
Vermont CANCER RESEARCH, 56, 2393-2399, May 15, 1996
- LINKS BETWEEN PESTICIDES AND SERIOUS DISEASE
- We know, however, that chemical pesticides and other
pollutants cause acute and especially delayed health consequences such
as allergy, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, genetic damage, cancer, concentration
and memory problems, loss of potency and libido, and many other health
- The National Research Council states that: "Infants
and children, whose immature nervous systems are vulnerable, and newborns,
whose metabolisms are less capable of detoxifying malathion, are more
susceptible than adults to its toxic effects." [Pesticides in the
Diets of Infants and Children. National Academy Press. Washington D.C.]
- There is also a link between exposure to pesticides,
and Parkinson's Disease, breast cancer, lymphoma and certain cases of Alzheimer's
- CHILDREN'S EXPOSURE TO PESTICIDES INCREASE LYMPHOMA RISK
- From "Child's Exposure to Pesticides Hikes Lymphoma
Risk" posted on CHEC FORUM November 10, 2001 (by Chive Mynde)
- "Children who have been exposed to household insecticides
and professional extermination methods within the home are three to seven
times more likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) compared with children
who have not been exposed to pesticides. ...)
- "Pesticide Exposures in Children with Non-Hodgkin
Lymphoma," Jonathan D Buckley M.B.B.S., Ph.D., Anna T. Meadows, M.D.,
Marshall E. Kadin, M.D, Michelle M. Le Beau, Ph.D., Stuart Siegel, M.D.,
and Leslie L. Robison, Ph.D., CANCER 2000; 89:11.
- PESTICIDES OPEN UP DEVASTING ILLNESS FOR THOSE GENETICALLY
- Researchers at Southwestern Medical School (University
of Texas Health Science Center) Robert Haley and Tom Kurt in Dallas, Texas
have found that a substantial number of veterans exposed to sprayed pesticides
(to control mosquitos and sandflies), DEET (as a repellent) and a substance
used to lessen the effects of nerve poisoning in the Gulf War are suffering
- The implications are staggering for the general population
as a whole who are exposed to these substances.
- The study states:
- "The culprit gene is the one that controls production
of type Q paraoxonase, or PON-Q, an enzyme that allows the body to fight
off chemical toxins by destroying them. This particular enzyme is highly
specific for the chemical nerve agents sarin and soman as well as for
the common pesticide diazinon.
- In some people, the gene causes the body to produce
high levels of PON-Q, allowing their bodies to fight off toxins like nerve
gas. But in others the gene directs the production of low levels of PON-Q,
meaning a person cannot fight off even low levels of these toxic chemicals
- Organophosphate pesticides have chemical structure similar
to nerve agents and have the potential of becoming highly toxic for normal
individuals if misused or mixed with other pesticides or chemicals.
- All this to say that it seems clear that massive spraying
for West Nile Fever or simply for mosquito control will harm children and
adults who have this low enzyme level and stimulate this painful, debilitating
and deadly disease in those with a genetic predisposition to it.
- And, unless this West Nile outbreak becomes a full scale
epidemic -- spraying will likely be the cause of great long-term suffering
for thousands -- with no appreciable effects on the carriers of West Nile.
Not only can massive spraying of pesticides cause GWS/environmental disease
-- it will undoubtedly increased the suffering of those who already suffer
- See the following site for details and information on
more studies: http://www.swmed.edu/home_pages/epidemi/gws/
- ENDOCRINE DISRUPTOR PESTICIDES AND SEVERE NEUROLOGICAL
EFFECTS (IN ADDITION TO REPRODUCTIVE PROBLEMS)
- By EPA's working definition, endocrine disruptors "interfere
with the synthesis, secretion, transport, binding, action, or elimination
of natural hormones in the body that are responsible for the maintenance
of homeostasis (normal cell metabolism), reproduction, development, and/or
- The Pyrethroids (Scourge-resmethrin and Anvil- sumithrin)
both used in mosquito spraying in an ineffective attempt to control West
Nile Virus -- have been shown to interfere with the immune and endocrine
systems. Adverse chronic effects, including effects on the liver and thyroid,
have been reported in toxicology testing.
- According to toxicologists, animal tests showed that
chronic exposure to resmethrin could increase thyroid weight and cause
thyroid cysts. In animal studies, it was found that in addition to a variety
of other health effects, exposure to pyrethroids can suppress both the
thyroid's T4 and T3 levels, and raise Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
- According to researchers writing in the Journal of Applied
Toxicology, "immense care is warranted in the use of insecticides,
because they not only affect the liver, kidney and other organs but also
may alter the activity of the endocrine glands." (J Appl Toxicol 1996
- A multidisciplinary group of international experts gathered
for a work session on Environmental Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: Neural,
Endocrine and Behavioral Efects" under the auspices of the International
School of Ethology at the Ettore Majorana Centre for Scientific Culture
in Erice, Sicily, November 5-10, 1995.
- Consensus Report...
- "Endocrine-disrupting chemicals can undermine neurological
and behavioral development...This loss of potential in humans and wildlife
is expressed as behavioral and physical abnormalities. It may be expressed
as reduced intellectual capacity and social adaptability, as impaired
responsiveness to environmental demands, or in a variety of other functional
- ... Interference with thyroid hormone function during
development leads to abnormalities in brain and behavioral development
...motor dysfunction of varying severity including cerebral palsy, mental
retardation, learning disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,
hydrocephalus, seizures and other permanent neurological abnormalities.
- Similarly, exposure to man-made chemicals during early
development can impair motor function, spatial perception, learning, memory,
auditory development, fine motor coordination, balance, and attentional
processes; in severe cases, mental retardation may result...."
- ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS
- In an article distributed by the Environmental News Service,
Cat Lazaroff tells of massive deaths of birds due to pesticides (no doubt
the spraying for West Nile produced many of these deaths):
- "Last year, prompted by concern about the spread
of West Nile Virus, New York State asked counties to report dead birds
to its wildlife pathology laboratory. After receiving more than 80,000
birds, Dr. Ward Stone discovered that while the virus was a factor in
some of the deaths, the leading cause was pesticide poisoning. Common lawn
care chemicals were among the most common toxins."
- American Bird Conservancy states: "Spraying pesticides
in urban and suburban areas does little to reduce the spread of West
Nile Virus, is extremely harmful to birds and may also harm the humans
it is intended to protect."
- Run-off from spraying from a variety of sources including
ground and aerially vector spraying has had devastating effects upon aquafers,
water supplies from lakes and rivers and aquatic life. Huge lobster and
fish deaths were reportedly resulting from the massive ground and aerial
spraying of the pesticide Anvil in New York and eastern areas.
- Malathion, Scourge, Anvil and other pesticides should
NEVER be sprayed near water or areas that could flow into aquifers or water
resources -- streams, rivers, lakes. Human water supplies and fish and
wildlife are at great risk of contamination.
- WHAT MEASURES ARE APPROPRIATE FOR CONTROLLING MOSQUITOS
- It is important to note that airborn or ground pesticide
spraying does little to actually erraticate mosquitos. Larval control and
eliminating breeding grounds (places with stagnant pools of water) are
much more effective means for controlling mosquitos.
- Beware of products containing pesticides --including
product containing DEET--found in many products being used to ward off
mosquitos. Many of the tests in developing pesticides are based upon the
effects upon a healthy adult male and any exposure to a child can be hazardous.
- Avoid insecticides and herbicides around the house and
yard. Combinations of common pesticides and fungicides can be much more
potent and produce unsafe effects not exhibited by products used alone.
- Many schools have already adopted a "No Pesticide
Use" policy on school grounds and limit the types of chemicals used
within the buildings.
- **Extremely important: It has been proven that mixtures
in the air can increase the toxic effects of commonly used pesticides by
100 or even a 1000 times. Combinations of aerial spraying of pesticides
and insecticides/ herbicides and some types of fungicides can produce toxic
levels that increase the risks over single exposures.
- Consumers Union's Pesticide Policy Reform Project whose
goal was to draw a roadmap for a long-term transition -- is making "biologically
based" (rather than toxic chemical based) Integrated Pest Management
the central focus of national pest management policy and investment patterns.
While current IPM plans call for reducing the use of pesticides, elimination
and replacement with non-harmful regimens must be the ultimate goal to
ensure public health and safety.
- PUBLIC RESPONSE
- As the research continues (that which has not been suppressed),
we are finding that pesticides are one of the most critical issues deciding
our and our children's future.
- Public response to this issue is a vital key to public
health. Armed with good information, we can rally together, inform others
and our local officials and the press that we will not tolerate this unnecessary
and deadly exposure to chemical toxins. .
- It is our responsibility to share the facts and assist
our city councils, public health officials, parks and environmental workers
in making the safest choices in dealing with West Nile Virus and other
- Can we afford not to heed the warnings? It is now becoming
most clear that we have more to fear from the WNV "cure" than
the disease itself. It is now becoming imperative that we no longer allow
unwarranted, ineffective and highly dangerous pesticide use around our
homes, schools, public parks and water resources and environment.
- For More Information About Pesticides And Their Harmful
- PESTICIDE INDEX http://www.safe2use.com/poisons-pesticides/index.htm
- MALATHION http://www.safe2use.com/poisons-pesticides/pesticides/malathion/malathion.htm
- SCOURGE http://www.safe2use.com/poisons-pesticides/pesticides/pyrethroids/resmethrin.htm
- ANVIL http://www.safe2use.com/poisons-pesticides/pesticides/pyrethroids/sumithrin.htm