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Is Naled, the primary pesticide the Collier Mosquito Control District sprays, safe for our children?
Unbeknownst to the population of Collier County, government officials have sanctioned the use of a horrible toxicant for the purposes of spraying for mosquitoes in the community's own backyard.
Did you know that Collier Mosquito Control District (CMCD) has been regularly spraying pesticides from an airplane only a few hundred feet above your home? If you didn’t, you aren’t alone. Many people here in Collier County were not aware that this was happening until just recently. Countless citizens have unknowingly been sprayed directly, leaving their doors and windows wide open during spraying events, and not being advised of any precautions to take during and after a spraying event. Andreas Roth and David Chapman, candidates for CMCD Seats 4 and 5, are trying to help make sure that this NEVER happens again. Collier citizens have every right to know when a spraying event is taking place, and must be given the knowledge of how to best protect themselves and their families.
But is it even safe to spray at all? Do the risks outweigh the benefits? The main pesticide being used, Naled (Dibrom), was banned in the European Union because they said it "poses unacceptable risk to human life." Yet some areas of Collier have been sprayed over 23 times this year with this same pesticide, that when it was re-registered, had omitted the inhalation data - the most toxic form. Andreas and David recently reached out to one of the foremost experts in the world on organophosphates like Naled. They contacted Dr. Alvin Terry because the people of Collier County are regularly told that Naled is safe and that they don’t need to be indoors when it is sprayed. After a long phone conversation, the following statement was crafted by Dr. Terry and David Chapman:
Dr. Alvin V. Terry, Jr., PhD. is the Regents' Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Augusta University. I reached out to him after reading his paper, "Functional Consequences of Repeated Organophosphate Exposure: Potential Non-Cholinergic Mechanisms" as well as a host of other studies he has conducted on organophosphate pesticides. Organophosphates are the family of pesticide Naled, the primary pesticide they spray over us here in Collier County falls under.
While Dr. Terry is a laboratory research scientist, not an environmental health expert, his knowledge is invaluable to our understanding the potential effects of mosquito control spraying. Dr. Terry understands the utility of organophosphates both to the farming industry and for the control of insects like mosquitos that can carry devastating disease organisms and would not support their being banned. However, in describing how the citizens of Collier County have been told these pesticides are safe, that you can go for a jog after they're sprayed, and that there's no special precautions needed, he stated that as an adult, he wouldn't want direct exposure and in his opinion, it's even more important that children not be directly exposed. He supports increased caution in the spraying of these pesticides and that everyone should be provided with common sense precautions to reduce their exposure.
There are so many unknowns with these pesticides. The primary mode of action for organophosphates is cholinesterase inhibition (they disrupt the nervous system) and most safety data is based upon this. However, as Dr. Terry explained, they have found that organophosphates are highly reactive and bind to other molecules as well. For example, they can disrupt axonal transport which is important in neurodevelopment and cause mitochondrial dysfunction which may lead to a host of negative effects. As such, caution is warranted. People deserve to know when they are being sprayed and what steps they can take to reduce their exposure.
While we may need to spray to control mosquitoes, it is important that the people of Collier County know when they are being sprayed and what precautions to take. In addition, we must work to break our reliance on these toxic chemicals by using more of the much less toxic larvicides and reducing the mosquito habitat.
Please vote for Andreas Roth and David Chapman (Seats 4 and 5) this November for Mosquito Control Commissioners to make sure this process begins.
Suggested precautions for families and additional information is available on Andreas and David’s Facebook pages.
Andreas Roth Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VoteAndreasRoth
David Chapman Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VoteDavidChapman
To learn more the adverese effects of pesticides, use the GreenMedInfo.com Research Dashboard: