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Another Landmark No-Spray Ordinance Passed in Ohio
(Beyond Pesticides, July 13, 2004)
On June 28, 2004, South Euclid, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, became the second city in the country to pass legislation prohibiting the use of adulticides (pesticides meant to kill adult mosquitoes) to combat the threat of West Nile virus.

According to the Ohio Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health will not be allowed to spray communities with pesticides in their attempt to deal with mosquitoes potentially infected with the West Nile Virus.

South Euclid is the second city in the nation to ban through legislation this use of hazardous pesticides. The first city was Lyndhurst, Ohio, another suburb of Cleveland, which passed its ordinance around this time last season. Yet, many other communities and their municipalities have taken similar no-spray measures that place primary emphasis on reducing breeding sources, using least-toxic larval and biological controls, and engaging in public education campaigns to teach people how to reduce breeding sources on their property and how to protect themselves from getting bitten.

In Lyndhurst, the City Council prohibited the spraying of adulticides “in an effort to help control the spread of the West Nile virus." The Council stated that, “[T]here is substantial belief that the more effective way of controlling the mosquito populations is by larvacide treatment and thorough education...,” while noting that, “[T]he dangers of WNV are minimal and affect a very small segment of the population and that the long-term health and environmental risks of spraying with synthetic pesticides poses a much greater risk.”

The Ohio Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides is a member of the National Alliance for Informed Mosquito Management (AIMM) coordinated by Beyond Pesticides. AIMM is a national group of organizations seeking to protect the public and the environment from unnecessary exposure to hazardous pesticides used in the attempt to control mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus. The Alliance informs the public about the hazards of mosquito pesticides and calls for the adoption of safer, least-toxic methods of managing mosquitoes and the threat of West Nile virus.

TAKE ACTION: Tell the South Euclid City Council that you support their landmark decision by emailing the Clerk of Council, Coletta Farrell at cafarell@seuclid.com or fax your comments letter to: 216-291-4959. Also check out the full AIMM platform and contact the AIMM group near you and see what you can do to protect your community against the misuse of pesticides. For more information, see Beyond Pesticides' West Nile Virus Fact Sheet, and model policies and practices regarding mosquito management.