The threat here from West Nile disease is real. In one recent week, the number of confirmed human cases of West Nile disease in North Texas nearly doubled, from 68 to 123, while county health officials predict by year's end we will exceed the previous record annual death toll of four set in 2006.

The city of Dallas, in addition to its spray program, is attacking the problem in many ways accepted as effective and without human risk by just about everybody — introducing larvae-eating fish into bodies of standing water, draining standing water where feasible and encouraging homeowners to do the same and urging the public to use personal mosquito repellents outdoors.

But Dallas also does the spraying, justified as safe by Librio because of product labels. You have to wonder which label he's reading.

The label on the outside of the product itself just tells how to spray it. But if anybody bothered to read all of the new EPA labeling requirements for pyrethroids, I have to think they'd be a lot less cavalier.

Permethrin is a neurotoxin. Mainly what the EPA says about it is that the EPA doesn't know a whole lot about its effect on humans. The current EPA "Red Sheet" on Permethrin, which is the full statement of the terms under which a chemical can be registered for sale, is not reassuring:

"EPA is not currently following a cumulative risk approach based on a common mechanism of toxicity for the pyrethroids," the sheet says.

"Nor do we have a clear understanding of effects on key downstream neuronal function e.g., nerve excitability, nor do we understand how these key events interact to produce their compound specific patterns of neurotoxicity."

For a while pyrethroids were popular with manufacturers of flea collars for cats and dogs, but the EPA took a harder look when animals started showing up with tremors and some even keeled over dead.

Those reactions were part of the impetus for a closer look and new labeling requirements, which now include the following language: "DO NOT USE ON CATS. May be toxic or potentially fatal if applied to or ingested by cats. Accidental application to cats and/or grooming a recently treated dog may result in tremors and/or uncoordinated muscle movements. If this occurs, immediate veterinary care should be provided."

Other warnings required by the EPA are: "This pesticide is extremely toxic to aquatic organisms, including fish and invertebrates. ... This pesticide is highly toxic to bees ..."

I spoke to a number of critics of pyrethroids and asked why, if the stuff is that toxic, spraying would not at least kill mosquitoes. Maybe we have to break a few eggs.

The critics have arguments — theories, really — about why the spraying may not kill the right mosquitoes. They say to get the right ones, the ones that are full of bird blood, you would need to spray during the day when those mosquitoes are flying, not at night when the big fat belly-full mosquitoes are safe under their leaves of grass.

It's pretty tough stuff for a layman to sort through. But when I ask the agencies authorizing the spraying what research they have done or seen to prove it works, I get zip.

I said at the top that this was not going to be me hauling on the rope of the big church bell in the town square at midnight screaming, "The British are coming!" But I do want to go back to my opening point about zebra mussels.

The city never raised a hand, never raised an objection, never demanded a ban on pumping of water from Lake Texoma when it became known there were zebra mussels there, never demanded an absolute ban on moving boats from lake to lake the way California did years ago.

Now the entire drinking water system of this city and every municipality in North Texas is severely threatened. There can be cost for an absolute lack of caution or will in environmental matters. A big cost.

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12 comments
themindfuldissenters
themindfuldissenters

We now have not only a confession from Zachary Thompson, DCHHS of his criminal behavior these past two years in regards to ordering the spraying of his fellow citizens with Chemical Agents and Poisons; but a "Terrorist Threat" to continue to do so; even when he receives a refusal from ANYONE in the DCHHS jurisdiction;. In essence he has threatened more than 2 million people.

We will make this communication available if we have an email address to forward the information to.

"NO ONE IS REQUIRED BY ANY LAW, FEDERAL, STATE, OR LOCAL TO ALLOW THEMSELVES TO BE SPRAYED WITH CHEMICAL AGENTS OR POISONS OR PESCTICIDES OR INSECTICIDES FOR ANY REASON.

We have over whelming evidence that this practice has no impact on the spread of West Nile Virus simply because the Virus is already endemic in the wild bird population. Contact us at themindfuldissenters@outlook.com and we will forward  the very arrogant letter from DCHHS/ and another attachment that will offer a solution to those who wish to "dissent to being sprayed"..


"When you stand you will not stand alone"



regregan
regregan

BATS EAT MOSQUITOS! put up a bat house, attract bats to your yard or community. Bats eat over 1000 flying insects in a single evening. Lone Star Woodcraft makes certified cedar bat houses.

Ian Gregory
Ian Gregory

There's almost an airforce of planes in Florida dedicated to mosquito control, has anybody in North Texas considered taking advice from the folks down there?

trudat
trudat

...over the years, it has appeared that "government" is more concerned about looking good than it is about actually serving and protecting the public...so I don't trust 'em...I guarantee one thing...I won't be inhaling around any city machine that looks like it might be spraying for anything...as a matter of fact, I don't plan to be found anywhere near such a machine...

cynicaloldbastard
cynicaloldbastard

"you would need to spray during the day when those mosquitoes are flying, not at night when the big fat belly-full mosquitoes are safe under their leaves of grass."

 

Does that make sense?  Mosquitoes are flying after dark.  You are more likely to receive a mosquito bite at night than in the middle of a 100+ degree sunny day.  At least in North Texas.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk

A far more effective program of mosquito abatement would be to arm our city council members with flyswatters and haz-mat suits and send them out at dawn and dusk to kill the little buggers individually.

 

As an added bonus, we'd actually get some productivity out of our city council.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

There is, in addition to the West Nile crisis, an incipient epidemic of intestinal illness caused by  cryptosporidium hitting the DFW area.

devildog943
devildog943

Cassandra wasn't listened to, either.

 

You raise some good points, but you are forgetting something VERY IMPORTANT to our 'leaders';

 

Rule #1 In any sort of a crisis or public alarm raising incident, you have to be seen as "DOING SOMETHING!", regardless of the effectiveness or efficiency of that "something".

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @cynicaloldbastard I think you're right. I got this wrong, sort of. The blood-gravid adults are actually protected under plants at night, so night spraying doesn't get them, but day spraying wouldn't., either. Maybe. They sure fly during the day at my place.  But the real answer is to go after larvae.

 
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