Bellinger is half right when he warns that pesticides can have "stealth" effects on brain development in young children. Meanwhile, prevenable diseases like West Nile do most certainly have permanent effects on children, death for instance.
Actually you are quite fast and loose not to mention inconsistent with your use of "can" and "do." West Nile does not have these effects in everyone as some develop the milder form of the disease and more importantly there are safer, more effective ways to control mosquitoes according to entomologists, like the ones noted in this article. It is this very seriousness of West Nile that calls on us to use the most effective mosquito control strategies, which also happen to be the safest. The immature stages of the mosquitoes represent as much as 98
percent of the mosquito life cycle during the mid months and are not
affected by adulticide pesticides that are used to aerial and truck spray. Leading entomologist generally agree
that targeting the biggest part of the life cycle represented by the eggs, pupae and larvae is the most effective way to control mosquitoes. BTI larvicide kills larvae before they ever turn into adult mosquitoes that can bite and infect humans with West Nile. When mosquito breeding hot spots are aggressively targeted with larvicide it cuts the problem off at the quick. BTI Larvicide has also been used for decades and has shown no insect resistance. The Entomologist at Rutgers University who regularly review the New Jersey Mosquito Plan and make recommendations have said insect resistance is comparable to bacterial resistance to antibiotics, a serious public health threat. (bit.ly/NKrirz). They state that spraying should be "avoided" particularly over large "contiguous areas" because of the threat of insect resistance and the public health effects. And yet the county here sprayed almost an entire densely populated county. Sacramento, which has been held up here as an example of successful aerial spraying, specifically avoids aerial spraying populated areas because of the health effects and they ONLY aerial spray because of the 50,000 acres of rice patty fields, which makes it difficult to larvicide. They also emphasize larviciding and public education over spraying. Even though they have sprayed less than Dallas did last summer, they are already experiencing significant insect resistance in Sacramento and have had to start using much more toxic organophosphate pesticides that are in the same chemical family as nerve gas and have been associated with autism, ADHD, lower IQ and cancer in children. And so your dismissiveness of the health effects is inappropriate. The Rutgers entomologist also note that pyrethroids, which were sprayed here last summer, are endocrine disruptors, which have been associated with cancer, and should be used "rarely." While BTI larvicide, which is the most effective way to target mosquitoes before they can even bite you, has negligible human health effects, there is a substantial growing body of
evidence showing long term health effects in children opposed to low
level pesticides. Two major reports were released just in the last couple
of months, including one by the American Academy of Pediatrics,
offering stern warnings on the effects of pesticides in children. See these links for copies of the reports: http://bit.ly/VisaF3 http://bit.ly/UEyB6Z There is also the public health threat of creating a level of resistance where no pesticide is effective in controlling the adults. Spraying also can pose the risk of increasing the larval population, which can lead to more mosquitoes, which is exactly what happened according to the CDC report. The only long term study of aerial spraying in New York's Cicero Swamp found 11 years of sprayng there led to a 15 fold increase in the disease carrying species of mosquitoes. There can be a time and a place for using adulticides, but they are best used in an extremely targeted and limited way so as to not lead to resistance, killing off of predator insects, disruption of the ecocystem that is driving the explosion of diseases like West Nille according to leading research, and insect resistance. (nyti.ms/P79apx) Leading integrated pest management experts say targeted spraying should only be a last line of defense after implementing an intensive program of larviciding, source reduction, code enforcement and education, which is the best, most effective, safest approach. It's also important to consider the secondary public health effects of spraying that can result from insect resistance. IF we eventually create a mosquito that no longer responds to the limited pesticides we have, we can end up in a situation where we have no effective adulticides to use in the middle of an outbreak, much like we are seeing happening with certain bacterial infections that no longer respond sufficiently to the current arsenal of antibiotics.