Letters to the Editor
Bay Area Residents Sprayed with Toxic Pesticides for Phoney Threat of West Nile Virus
From Keith Howe <email@example.com>
July 7, 2011
Bay Area Residents Sprayed with Toxic Pesticides for Phoney Threat of West Nile Virus (July 7, 2011)
Included here are facts regarding the insignificant threat of the West Nile Virus vs. the toxic effects and dangers of the pesticides.
Is your neighborhood next?
The Santa Clara County Vector Control District has announced that they will be spraying Sunnyvale residents with toxic pesticides on July 7, 2011 ( http://www.sccvector.org/portal/site/vector/ ). The reason they give is to protect the public from the "imminent threat' of mosquito borne West Nile Virus.
Scientific facts reveal that the West Nile Virus is NOT a significant threat to human beings, and, compared to the risk of pesticides, in NO way warrants the aerial dispersion (fogging) of toxic pesticides on residents of Santa Clara County. Out of the entire population of 38 million people in the State of California in 2010, there were allegedly 111 cases of human infection with West Nile Virus, including 6 alleged deaths. As of 07-01-11 there are NO human cases of WNV in California! These facts come from the official State of California website on West Nile Virus at http://www.westnile.ca.gov/
To make things worse, the current hot weather and high levels of pollution, with "spare the air days" declared into this week, will put already at high risk individuals, such as children, the elderly, persons with cardiac or respiratory problems, and the immuno-compromised at even higher risk of illness and/or death.
Some facts about West Nile Virus:
1) Approximately 80% of persons infected with WNV have NO symptoms!
2) Approximately 20% of those infected get mild, flu-like symptoms!
3) Less than 1% of those persons infected suffer from any serious symptoms such as encephalopathy, and that is generally in elderly and /or immuno-compromised individuals.
Furthermore, the spraying of pesticides to kill adult mosquitoes, known as adulticide, is one of the most ineffective methods of mosquito abatement. This method also presents the greatest danger to humans and non-target life-forms.
GENERAL PESTICIDE FACTS:
- Pesticides are NOT safe. They are designed to be toxic and kill. Many are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors that can cause cancer,
infertility, and a host of other diseases.
- Pesticides suppress the human immune system, increasing the risk of contracting the WNV.
- Pesticides may compromise the blood-brain barrier, thus increasing the risk of encephalopathy (infection of the brain). Dr. Dennis Goode, of
the Dept. of Biology at the University of Maryland states,
"In general, WNV is a mild disease. It only becomes serious encephalitis if the virus can cross the blood-brain barrier. Among the agents that impair the blood-brain barrier in young rats are pyrethroid, organophosphate, and organochlorine pesticides. Thus, insecticide spraying has the potential to worsen the process of WNV infection. "
Pyrenone 25-5 is the pesticide scheduled to be sprayed and is a pyrethroid!
- Pesticides also kill off the natural predators of mosquitoes, which take much longer to regain their numbers.
- Mosquitoes can also develop immunity to pesticides, making it more difficult to control them.
An Open Letter by Concerned Physicians and Scientists states that
"Considering the cumulative, multigenerational, and destructive impact of pesticides, especially on children's development and behavior, it is frightening to imagine the delayed consequences of repeated pesticide spraying. These consequences will be especially serious for those with allergies or weakened immune systems, cancer, those who are chemically sensitive, as well as for children and future generations."
See this excellent, comprehensive document at: www.beyondpesticides.org/mosquito/documents/Open%20Letter.pdf
Better wake up and speak up people. Time to end this madness!
Keith Howe, D.C.
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