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Daily News Archive
From July 9, 2001

Massachusetts Report Shows Public Health Danger of WNv Spraying

Documenting the dangers of exposure to toxic pesticides, residents and environmental groups released a report today calling on the Commonwealth and municipal officials to adopt policies that do not use mosquito adulticides to address West Nile virus. Overkill: Why Pesticide Spraying for West Nile Virus May Cause More Harm Than Good, details the dangers of the toxic pesticides planned to be sprayed this summer by municipalities and mosquito control districts and how their use may be counterproductive in protecting public health. To view the report visit the Toxics Action Center's website at http://www.meepi.org/wnv/mass.htm.

"Spraying toxic pesticides to address the West Nile virus creates a entirely new public health threat. Government officials need to take their fingers off the pesticide trigger," said Matthew Wilson, Director of Toxics Action Center, which is assisting a number of communities across the Commonwealth working to stop pesticide spraying in their communities.

In addition to adopting "No Spray" policies the groups recommend a number of measures to address West Nile Virus.
o Rid your property of stagnant water which are breeding grounds for mosquitoes;
o Control mosquito populations in their immature forms including eggs, larvae and pupae;
o Establish monitoring programs, which can pinpoint the spread of the disease;
o Stop spraying for nuisance mosquitoes as this practice serves to build up resistance to pesticides in mosquitoes and kill important beneficial insects;
o Educate the public on ways to minimize biting opportunities.