Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration continues the poisonous practices of its predecessors and resumes pesticide spraying in southern Brooklyn on Thursday, September 3, 2020, between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning. Supposedly to kill mosquitoes said to be carrying West Nile Virus, there has been little to no public notice, no reports as to why this is needed, and no consideration whatsoever of the health needs of our communities, at any time, but particularly at this time due to COVID-19.
For the spraying, the Health Department will use what it calls “very low” concentrations of Bayer’s DeltaGard®.* (The City continues to also apply Bayer’s carcinogenic herbicide Roundup (glyphosate+arsenic), manufactured by Monsanto. That company was purchased by Bayer for $66 billion two years ago.)
The City says that the risks associated with the pesticide may include short-term eye or throat irritation, or a rash. People with respiratory conditions may also be affected. We’ve had reports of people with serious neurological diseases from spraying of pyrethroids.
To stay safe during the spraying, stay inside whenever possible. Air conditioners can stay on during the process, but only in the “closed” recirculating capacity. After the spraying, wash any skin or clothing that was exposed to the pesticides with soap and water, keep pets (and children!) away from it, and wash all fruits and vegetables with water.
The most effective way to control mosquitoes is to eliminate any standing water. You can report standing water by calling 311 or visiting nyc.gov/health/wnv.
New Yorkers are also encouraged to mosquito-proof their homes and take precautions when spending time outdoors. Use an insect repellent such as those outlined on this website in the section called “Alternatives”. Do NOT use DEET, especially on or anywhere near children, contrary to the City’s continually dangerous advice.
What is the effect of deltamethrin (the main ingredient in DeltaGard) on the environment?
The small droplets of deltamethrin released by ultra-low volume sprayers will not fall readily onto land or into water, and are expected to break down in air. As a result, deltamethrin is not expected to cause harm to animals or plants on land or in water. Fogging treatments such as this are typically carried out at night or in early morning when adult mosquitoes are most active, and other non-target organisms are normally less active.
According to the Manufacturer’s Data Sheet, DeltaGard “contains material which are Trade Secret and may have Occupational Exposure Limits.”
Deltamethrin caused neurobehavioral effects and/or neuropathological changes in animal studies. “The toxic effects of Deltamethrin are related to transient hyperactivity typical for pyrethroid neurotoxicity.”
“This product contains material(s) which are Trade Secret and are on various Regulatory Lists. These material(s) are not listed below,” and are kept secret intentionally “for proprietary reasons” (which means to make millions in profits from it without revealing what it is).