CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER
Lyndhurst Ohio prohibits spraying for mosquitoes
by Jesse Tinsley
Lyndhurst – The city has banned the spraying of pesticides to control mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus.
City Council this week voted 5-2 for the ban. Councilman Scott Picker said the risks of spraying far outweigh the benefits. Few mosquitoes carry the virus, he said.
West Nile Virus causes some victims to become seriously ill with encephalitis or meningitis, according to Cuyahoga County health officials. But many people have been infected without knowing.
“Many victims have no symptoms and experience no ill effects from West Nile Virus,” Picker said. “Upon exposure, the chances of contracting West Nile Virus are rare.”
He also said that pesticides are sprayed 20 feet from a truck in the street and never make it to back yards.
Instead of spraying, Lyndhurst will advise residents to eliminate standing water, the breeding ground for mosquitoes.
During warm weather, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and some municipalities spray pesticides to combat mosquitoes.
Free-lancer Chris Kastner contributed to this story.
From: Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin
from Fawn Pattinson of Envirolink:
To everyone who came out to the aerial spray hearing yesterday, sent in comments, wrote letters to the newspaper, told their friends, and otherwise helped to make this issue the most publicly-scrutinized EVER for the Pesticide Board:
The hearing went very well. 57 people spoke yesterday to the Board; 36 against weakening aerial spray rules, and 21 in favor. All 21 in favor represented the agribusiness industry, including Syngenta, Bayer CropScience, the Agribusiness Council, Crop Protection Association, and a bevy of aerial sprayers.
On the other hand, a diverse group of everyday folks came out against the rule change, including concerned citizens, commercial fishers, doctors and nurses, conservationists, state senator Ellie Kinnaird, and (by proxy) representative Joe Hackney, lawyers, farm workers, and many others. Your comments, emails, letters and faxes make a huge difference!
NOTE: The public comment period has been EXTENDED at least through the next Pesticide Board meeting on Dec. 10th. We don1t know yet whether they will take a vote then. So for those who haven1t yet had a chance to write in, you still can!
Please watch the media – and send in letters to the editor expressing your viewpoint! Pasted in below is an article in today1s News and Observer. Articles about this rule have also run recently in the Asheville Citizen-Times, Fayetteville Observer, WUNC radio, Winston-Salem Journal, Charlotte Observer, Greenville Reflector, and even the Washington Post! So write in!
Thanks again for all you1ve done, and let1s keep an eye on the Pesticide Board to be sure they do the right thing when they take a vote. Let me know if you1d like to be signed up for our newsletter list (paper or electronic). If you1d like a copy of my notes from the meeting, I1ll be glad to email them to you.
AND THANKS AGAIN!!!
News & Observer
Wednesday, November 13, 2002
Critics say cutting pesticide-spraying buffers risky
By WADE RAWLINS, Staff Writer
In October 2001, a crop-duster sprayed a cotton field across U.S. 17 from Chocowinity Middle School in Beaufort County as buses and parents were unloading students. Some children who were outside were exposed to a pesticide.
The incident was cited as reason for greater — not relaxed — buffers around crop-dusting at a public hearing held Tuesday by the state Pesticide Board, which is considering shrinking the no-spray zones around homes and schools.
North Carolina’s current regulations prohibit crop-dusters from letting vapor drift into buffer areas within 100 feet of homes and 300 feet of schools, hospitals, churches and nursing homes. They were put in place in 1984 after a Chatham County community was accidentally doused with herbicides.
The proposed change under consideration by the state Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Board would loosen the restrictions. While buffers would remain, small amounts of chemicals measured in parts per million would be allowed to drift onto them.
“We find no level to be acceptable and find it astounding that this board would even consider ‘how much’ pesticide could be sprayed on schools and children as a result of motivations of convenience, efficiency, productivity and profit,” said Delma Blinson, co-president of the Chocowinity Middle School Parent-Teacher Organization. “To allow an applicator to spray a school, even unintentionally, for whatever agricultural benefit it may provide an adjacent farmer …. is unconscionable.”
Supporters and opponents of the proposed change spoke at a public hearing held by the Pesticide Board.
The board will act on the proposed change at a future meeting, said Scott Whitford, board chairman.
Crop-dusters, chemical manufacturers and agriculture representatives say that advances in scientific chemical analysis in the years since the no-spray buffers were enacted make the zero-residue policy obsolete and unreasonable. Residues of pesticides can be detected at much smaller levels today.
“What was zero back in 1976 is not zero today,” Jim Burnette, pesticide administrator for the state Department of Agriculture, said. The proposed pesticide residue standards, which the board is considering adopting, were developed by scientists employed by chemical manufacturers. Curt Lunchick, of Bayer Crop Science, said the current standards bar even chemical levels that pose no recognized health consequences. He said proposed standards are safe and more realistic. He said the amount of chemical residue that would be allowed was comparable to a packet of sugar sprinkled over a half-acre lawn.
Mitch Peele of the N.C. Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization, said the current standards set crop-dusters up for failure each time they take off.
“Zero deposit is unobtainable,” Peele said. “Zero adverse effect is very obtainable.”
But opponents said a state with a rapidly growing population needs more stringent standards.
Fawn Pattison, executive director of Agricultural Resources Center, a Carrboro-based anti-pesticide group, said the change would reduce crop-dusters’ liability when someone is hurt. And it would allow pesticides to drift onto private property where they are not wanted.
“The more we learn about pesticides, even at very low levels, the more we realize that caution is needed,” said state Sen. Ellie Kinnaird of Orange County. “We need greater, not less, protection in the rules.”
NEW YORK STATE
Nassau Enviro. Health – (ed. note: update link)
Suffolk Vector Control – (ed. note: update link)
Suffolk Mosquito Control Plan – (ed. note: update link)
Suffolk Spraying Hotline: (631) 852-4939