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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Mosquitoes' Category


19
Aug

Mosquito Fogging Kills Hundreds of Bees

(Beyond Pesticides, August 19, 2015) Local fogging for  mosquito control turned tragic for a Palo Alto, California beekeeper who lost hundreds of honey bees from his backyard hives. The beekeeper, who also produces organic honey, now fears his honey is contaminated. The fogging, which occurred last month, was in response to positive tests for West Nile virus in mosquito samples. Many mosquito control pesticides are toxic to honey bees and given the declining populations of pollinators, vector control officials are being asked to carefully consider the risks associated with pesticide spraying. According to the local NBC affiliate, beekeeper Rondolph Tsien believes he was not given sufficient time to protect his bees from the mosquito fogging and, despite trying to cover his hives with a tarp to protect his bees from drifting pesticides, many were lost. A mosquito sample tested positive for West Nile virus about one mile from Mr. Tsien’s home, putting his property in the catchment area for fogging. Mr. Tsien worries the surviving bees will produce contaminated honey that can no longer be labeled organic. A Santa Clara County Vector Control representative stated during an interview that the county uses  an “extremely low dose” of pesticides during fogging […]

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20
Apr

Canada Fights Toxic Mosquito Spraying Near Homes and Parks

(Beyond Pesticides, April 20, 2015) New details emerged last week after a Canadian volunteer group, Pesticide Free Alberta (PFA), received records from the City of Edmonton regarding ground and aerial application of Dursban 2.5, a restricted insecticide (in both Canada and the US), in close proximity to residential areas to kill off mosquito larvae. The coordinator of PFA, Sheryl McCumsey, fought for months for the data to be released. Health Canada does not recommend using Dursban in areas where children will be exposed, such as homes, parks, school grounds or playing fields, but the City of Edmonton justifies the use of the product by its label language, citing that it can be used in industrial areas. These areas often end up bordering residential neighborhoods and natural lands, such as parks. The active ingredient in Dursban is chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxic insecticide that has been linked to many detrimental health and environmental effects, such as endocrine disruption, reproductive and birth effects, toxicity to birds, bees and aquatic wildlife.In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Dow AgroSciences restricted the sale and use of most home, lawn and garden product due to its health risks for children. However, it is still used […]

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03
Feb

Florida Officials, FDA, Consider Release of Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes

(Beyond Pesticides, February 3, 2015) Officials in the Florida Keys are seeking approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to release a wave of mosquitoes that have been genetically engineered to produce offspring whose larvae are unable to survive. The plan to introduce these mosquitoes has been met with intense skepticism by local residents. A change.org petition against the release has garnered over 146,000 signatures to date. Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) officials have been planning the release alongside British biotechnology company Oxitec, which has already conducted similar experiments with the genetically engineered (GE) mosquitoes in Brazil and the Cayman Islands. Websites for Oxitec and the FKMCD assert that the GE aedes aegypti mosquitoes will significantly lower the numbers of the disease spreading insects, and reduce the need to spray insecticides. Opponents counter that the introduction of the modified mosquitoes is unacceptably risky, as there has been little research on possible non-target effects of the novel insect, and current control methods and public education have been successful at controlling exotic diseases. Opportunity for public comment to FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is likely to occur in the near future. Behind the Technology […]

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28
Jul

New Research Links Pesticide Exposure to Adverse Effects Three Generations Later

(Beyond Pesticides, July 28, 2014) New research from Michael Skinner, Ph.D.’s laboratory out of Washington State University finds that —yet again”” exposure to pesticides may have devastating consequences for future generations. The study, “Pesticide Methoxychlor Promotes the Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance of Adult-Onset Disease through the Female Germline,” published in PLOS ONE, finds that gestating rats exposed to the pesticide methoxychlor develop a higher incidence of kidney disease, ovary disease and obesity in offspring spanning three generations. The incidence of multiple diseases increased in the third generation or “great-grandchildren.” This study suggests that ancestral exposures to methoxychlor over the past 50 years in North America may play a part in today’s increasing rates of obesity and disease. The epigenetic changes observed were specific to methoxychlor exposure and, according to researchers, may prove to be valuable biomarkers for future research on transgenerational disease. For people exposed to the pesticide, Dr. Skinner says his findings have implications such as reduced fertility, increased adult onset disease and the potential to pass on those conditions to subsequent generations. “What your great-grandmother was exposed to during pregnancy, like the pesticide methoxychlor, may promote a dramatic increase in your susceptibility to develop disease, and you will pass […]

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28
Oct

Multi-generational Effects of DDT Linked to Obesity

(Beyond Pesticides, October 28, 2013) Scientists at Washington State University (WSU), in a laboratory study,  determined that exposure to the insecticide DDT ””banned in the U.S. since 1972, but still used today in developing countries for malaria abatement programs””impacts multiple generations, ultimately contributing to obesity three generations down the line. The study, published in the journal BMC Medicine, provides the scientific community with new information on multi-generational impacts of pesticide exposure. Lead researcher Michael Skinner, PhD., professor of biological sciences at WSU, and colleagues exposed pregnant rats to DDT to determine the long-term impacts to health across generations. The study, Ancestral dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) exposure promotes epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of obesity, finds that the first generation of rats’ offspring developed severe health problems, ranging from kidney disease, prostate disease, and ovary disease, to tumor development. Interestingly, by the third generation more than half of the rats have increased levels of weight gain and fat storage. In other words, the great grandchildren of the exposed rats are much more likely to be obese. “Therefore, your ancestors’ environmental exposures may influence your disease development even though you have never had a direct exposure,” the study finds. Previous studies have demonstrated that exposure to […]

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21
Aug

Bill Introduced to Restrict the Pesticide Methoprene in Estuaries in New York County

(Beyond Pesticides, August 21, 2013) Suffolk County, New York, Legislator Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk) introduced a bill on July 30, 2013 to establish strict guidelines for the use of methoprene within estuaries in Suffolk County.   Methoprene, an insect growth regulator, is commonly used in mosquito control programs, but is highly toxic to estuarine invertebrates, including crabs and lobsters, which are the backbone of the fishing industry along the East coast. This bill follows similar legislation already passed in Connecticut and Rhode Island to help protect lobster populations. The lobster population in the Long Island Sound has decreased dramatically over the last decade, corresponding with the introduction of pesticides such as methoprene in mosquito control programs. Methoprene  is an insect growth regulator that prevents development to the adult reproductive stages so that insects die in arrested immaturity. It is an insecticide that is acutely toxic to estuarine invertebrates, including valuable food and commercial species like crabs and lobsters.  The effect of mosquito pesticides on marine life, especially lobsters, has come under scrutiny in recent years as mosquito spray programs in various states escalated efforts to suppress West Nile virus (WNv). Other mosquito-killing chemicals suspected of causing damage to aquatic life include […]

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27
Jun

Connecticut Passes Law to Curb Pesticide Use to Save Lobsters

(Beyond Pesticides, June 27, 2013) After years of lobster decline, a new law in Connecticut seeks to protect and revive the crustacean population by banning the use of toxic mosquito pesticides in coastal areas. With the support of Connecticut’s remaining lobsterman, Governor Dannel Malloy last Friday signed into law  House Bill 6441,  which bans two chemicals, methoprene and resmethrin. Declines in the   sound’s lobster population have been alarmingly common for the past 15 years, devastating fishermen and the local economy that depends on them. The pesticides have long been suspected in killing off the lobsters; however last summer, it was officially linked when those chemicals were detected in lobster tissue last summer. Connecticut legislators say that they were convinced that banning the two mosquito pesticides after learning that Rhode Island and Massachusetts had enacted similar bans with successful results. “The fisheries of Long Island Sound have been devastated by this lobster die-off, which has been terrible for our local economy and all the families that relied on this industry,” State Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk, Darien) said in a statement. “We should be doing everything we can to reverse the trend and bring the lobster population back to a healthy […]

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21
May

As Mosquito Season Approaches, Take Preventive Action Without Toxic Chemicals

(Beyond Pesticides, May 21, 2013) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently concluded that 2012 was the deadliest year for West Nile Virus (WNv) in the United States. “A total of 5,674 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 286 deaths, were reported to CDC from 48 states (excluding Alaska and Hawaii),” said the CDC in a statement. While it is still too early to determine whether this year will be as bad as last year’s outbreak (experts say the largest disease outbreaks  is strongly driven by weather patterns characterized by hot wet summers), one thing is certain: There are simple mosquito control techniques that can be performed in your community and backyard that will prevent the spread of WNv and nuisance biting mosquitoes without the use of highly toxic pesticides. Beyond Pesticides fielded calls from concerned residents across the U.S. whose communities were doused with pesticides in attempts to control WNv. Yet, these controls have been shown to be ineffective at managing mosquito populations. According to David Pimentel, PhD, professor emeritus of entomology at Cornell University, less than .0001% of adulticides (mosquito insecticides) reach target adult mosquitoes. Dr. Pimentel notes, “Thus by both ground and aerial application […]

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26
Feb

Mosquitoes Show Resistance to Highly Toxic DEET Repellent

(Beyond Pesticides, February 26, 2013) The world’s most commonly used synthetic insect repellent is not  as effective as it once was, according to scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. While researchers found DEET to be an effective repellent after an initial application, subsequent rounds of testing mere hours later showed mosquitoes to be unaffected by its presence. The study, published in the journal PLOS One, underlines the need to develop safe, natural, effective alternative preventions to this hazardous chemical. To perform their experiment, researchers took the mosquito species Aedes aegypti, a carrier for dengue and yellow fever, and exposed it to a human arm covered in DEET. A few hours later they repeated the experiment, but this time the mosquitoes largely ignored the presence of the chemical. To find out what caused this to occur, researchers placed electrodes on the antennas of the insects. “We were able to record the response of the receptors on the antenna to DEET, and what we found was the mosquitoes were no longer as sensitive to the chemical, so they weren’t picking it up as well,”   co-author James Logan, PhD told the BBC.  “There is something about being exposed […]

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04
Feb

Fed Legislation Would Weaken Pesticide Rules to Protect Water

(Beyond Pesticides, February 4, 2013) U.S. Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Mike Johanns (R-NE) re-introduced legislation that would reduce the review requirements for pesticides applied directly to water. Similar legislation was passed in the House of Representatives in March 2011. The previous Senate version of the bill, called the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011, passed through the Senate Agriculture Committee but never reached the Senate floor because of a hold placed on the legislation by Senators Barbra Boxer (D-CA) and Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD). This re-introduced legislation would reduce pesticide testing by ensuring that Clean Water Act (CWA) permits are not required for the application of pesticides. In 2009, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the case of the National Cotton Council et al. v. EPA that pesticides discharged into water are pollutants and required to be permitted under the CWA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). This ruling overturned Bush administration policy that exempted pesticides from regulation under the CWA and applied the less protective standards of the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). CWA uses a health-based standard known as maximum contamination levels (MCLs) to protect waterways and requires permits when chemicals are directly […]

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06
Nov

Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Take Flight in Brazil

(Beyond Pesticides, November 6, 2012) In efforts to stamp out the deadly disease Dengue fever, officials in Brazil are in the process of releasing millions of genetically engineered (GE) mosquitoes into the environment. However, some in the environmental community are concerned about the possible non-target effects of this experiment, and urge additional research in the lab before releasing the insects into the natural world. According to the Los Angeles Times, the experiment is taking place in the small town of Itaberaba, in Brazil’s Bahia state. The company overseeing the release, London-based Oxitec, also developed the GE insects. GE mosquitoes are raised in the laboratory, where the eggs of female mosquitoes are injected with a gene that produces sterile male mosquitoes. The modified male mosquitoes are then released into the environment en masse where they crowd out native males and mate with available females. The offspring from these mosquitoes are supposed to die before they hatch. In the town of Itaberaba, 84% of mosquito larvae now carry the modified gene, and the state government has approved an expansion of the program into five additional neighborhoods. GE mosquitoes have previously been released into uninhabited areas of India and Malaysia, and future plans […]

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14
Sep

Massachusetts Fails to Support Claim that Aerial Spraying Suppresses Insect-Borne Disease

(Beyond Pesticides, September 14, 2012) The State of Massachusetts has been unable to produce the records backing up its claim that the biggest aerial spraying of pesticides in Commonwealth history this July significantly reduced mosquito-borne disease risks, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Further, the state has no proof aerial spraying is an effective safeguard against Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). In a July 31 press release, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced that “aerial spraying the weekend of July 20-22 reduced the mosquito population by approximately 60 percent within the 21-community spray zone in Southeastern Massachusetts.” DPH Commissioner John Auerbach was quoted as crediting aerial spraying for causing “a significant reduction in the volume of mosquitoes.” Immediately following that release, New England PEER Director Kyla Bennett submitted a public records request for the materials supporting these claims. More than a month later, DPH has still been unable to produce any records on which it based its press release. The matter is on appeal before the Secretary of State, the last administrative hurdle PEER needs to jump over in order to sue DPH to force the production of records. PEER points out that agencies conducting aerial spraying […]

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20
Aug

Safer Options Available for Tackling West Nile Virus Mosquito Management

(Beyond Pesticides, August 20, 2012) Given the number of West Nile virus (WNv) cases, including 26 deaths, it is important to focus attention on mosquito management methods that are the most effective and do not introduce additional short- and long-term public health hazards with the use of toxic pesticides, public health advocates say. It is understandable that local, state, and federal officials want to act decisively, but that does not mean that the widespread use of hazardous pesticides is the best course of action, according to Beyond Pesticides, a national information and advocacy organization on pesticides and alternatives based in Washington, DC. According to Beyond Pesticides’ executive director, Jay Feldman, “Communities that are most successful and smart about mosquito control engage in aggressive efforts to reduce and eliminate mosquito breeding areas in standing water around homes and buildings and throughout the community.” Mosquito breeding can take place in stagnant water, from very small to larger pools —bottle caps, discarded automobile tires, planters, containers, rain gutters, drains, or under piles of leaves. The widespread spraying of toxic pesticides (typically chemicals known as synthetic pyrethroids, organophosphates, or other nervous system poisons) does not provide a long-term sustainable solution to mosquito control. “It […]

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27
Jul

Pesticides Detected in Long Island Sound Lobsters for the First Time

(Beyond Pesticides, July 27, 2012) A Connecticut state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection study has detected residues of mosquito control pesticides in lobsters pulled from Long Island Sound. Using new testing technology that can detect small concentrations of substances, ten lobsters were tested for three common mosquito control chemicals: malathion, methoprene, and resmethrin. Positive results were found in the organ tissue of one lobster for methoprene and three lobsters for resmethrin. The results present the first scientific evidence that pesticides may be affecting lobsters in the Sound and are likely to further anger the Connecticut lobstering industry which, for years, has been pointing to mosquito pesticides as a likely cause of a serious decline in the lobster population of the Sound, but has been met with resistance. Late summer declines in the Sound’s lobster population have been alarmingly common throughout much of the last decade, devastating fishers and the local economy that depends on them. A number of factors have been blamed, but the lobstering community has increasingly been pointing to mosquito pesticides for several reasons. Some, such as methoprene, have a tendency to sink to the bottom of the ocean water, where lobsters live and feed. Additionally, lobsters […]

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24
Jul

Large Aerial Mosquito Spraying in Massachusetts Lacks Permit and Adequate Monitoring

(Beyond Pesticides, July 24, 2012) This past weekend, the State of Massachusetts undertook what is thought to be its largest aerial spraying of pesticides covering nearly 400,000 acres and 21 communities. By using the pretext of a new emergency, the state improperly evaded Clean Water Act protections according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). PEER has asked for a federal investigation. The massive spraying was triggered by the trapping of mammal-biting mosquitos which tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) on July 9th. On July 17th, the state Department of Public Health declared a pest emergency to justify aerial spraying over Bristol and Plymouth Counties through September 30, 2012. The spraying took place July 20th, 21st, and 22nd. Typically, aerial spraying of pesticides requires a federal pollution discharge permit but the permit may be dispensed with if the application is done “less than ten days after identification of the need for pest control” — a requirement violated in this case. In addition, PEER charges that the state knew it would conduct aerial spraying in this area for months and is inappropriately using an emergency declaration to avoid the need for a permit. The permit is not merely red tape, […]

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27
Jun

Tiny Crustaceans Enlisted to Fight Mosquitoes in New Jersey

(Beyond Pesticides, June 27, 2012) One county in New Jersey is getting serious about combating mosquitoes this season. Instead of relying on pesticide spraying, which has been shown to not be effective, the Cape May County Department of Mosquito Control is employing 10,000 tiny shrimp-like crustaceans that will eat their way through mosquito larvae in the county’s swamps, roadside ditches and small pools. The latest weapon in the battle against mosquitoes is barely visible. The crustaceans, known as copepods, are cousins to crayfish and water fleas, and do not get much bigger than two millimeters. They are voracious predators of mosquito larvae. New Jersey recently delivered 10,000 of the tiny shrimp-like crustaceans to Cape May County. They are already being used to fight mosquitoes in Bergen, Passaic, and Morris counties. Ocean County is next on the delivery list and six other counties will follow. “The days of driving a truck down the street and spraying pesticides are long gone. These copepods can pick up where fish leave off,” according to Administrator Robert Kent, of the state Office of Mosquito Control. Natural Predators as a Solution for Mosquito Control New Jersey has used mosquitofish, fathead minnows, killifish, bluegill and other fish […]

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14
Jun

Aerial Mosquito Spraying for West Nile Virus Criticized by Health and Environmental Advocates

(Beyond Pesticides, June 14, 2012) Across the U.S., some communities are responding to the threat of mosquito-transmitted West Nile virus (WNv) with aerial insecticide spray programs. This method of mosquito management is widely considered by experts to be both ineffective and harmful due to the hazards associated with widespread pesticide exposure. Given the lack of evidence that adulticides (insecticides that target adult mosquitoes) reduce or prevent mosquito-borne incidents or illnesses, public health and environmental advocates question the decision to resort to indiscriminate spraying. Studies have shown that aerial spraying for adult mosquitoes is greatly ineffective (as little as 1% of mosquitoes will be hit, according to Cornell University entomologist David Pimentel). Pesticides like those typically used in aerial sprayings against mosquitoes, including synthetic pyrethroids and organophosphates, have been linked to numerous adverse health effects including asthma and respiratory problems, dermatological reactions, endocrine disruption, chemical sensitivities, and cancer. These chemicals can also be harmful or fatal to non-target wildlife, including pollinators like the honeybee. Further, pesticides that kill mosquitoes also kill their predators, leading to fewer biological checks on mosquito populations than without spraying. Here are some of the areas currently, or soon to be spraying insecticides intended to kill adult […]

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22
May

Toxic Pesticide-Encapsulated Paint Introduced to Combat Malaria

(Beyond Pesticides, May 22, 2012) The Spanish-based Inesfly company announced recently its plans to release commercially pesticide encapsulated paint, Inesfly 5A IGR, containing two neurotoxic organophosphates (OPs), chlorpyrifos and diazinon, and the insect growth regulator (IGR), pyriproxyfen, which it hopes will combat malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. The company’s owner Pilar Mateo, PhD, calls her product “a vaccine for houses and buildings” and explains that because the insecticides are released slowly from the paint, it remains effective for two to four years. This formulation of Dr. Mateo’s paint could not be registered for use in the U.S. because both indoor residential uses of chlorpyrifos and diazinon have been banned because of risks posed to children’s health, although the company has another formulation that substitutes pyrethroids for the organophosphates. Though probably well-intentioned —Dr. Mateo has already invested $6 million of her family’s money and $12 million in grants from nonprofits, on research, creating educational programs about hygiene, and donating paint to more than 8,000 homes in Latin America and Africa””the product puts the people it is supposed to protect from disease at risk for other health problems. Organophosphate insecticides have been linked to a host of neurodevelopmental problems, especially in children. Because […]

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15
Feb

California Proposes to Ease Permit Restrictions For Mosquito Spraying

(Beyond Pesticides, February 15, 2012) California mosquito control agencies are charging that new NPDES permitting regulations would eliminate West Nile virus fogging and jeopardize public health. In response, the state of California has proposed to scale-back pesticide regulations, easing rules on fumigating adult mosquitoes. This is in spite of the high risk for further degradation of already contaminated surface waters in the state, and contrary to the stipulations and protections set out in the Clean Water Act. The current federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, which recently went into effect after much resistance from the pesticide and agriculture industry and intensive lobbying efforts in Congress, does not authorize the discharge of biological and residual pesticides or their degradation by-products to waters of the U.S. that are impaired by the same pesticide active ingredients or any pesticide in the same chemical family. ”˜Impaired waters’ are polluted waters, i.e. those waters not meeting water quality standards pursuant to section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The NPDES permit is authorized under the CWA to require pesticide applicators to apply for permits before applying pesticides on or near surface waters. This process involves keeping records of pesticides used and monitoring […]

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07
Oct

Mosquito Pesticide Suspected in Lobster Deaths

(Beyond Pesticides, October 7, 2011) Commercial lobster fishers operating in Long Island Sound off the coast of Connecticut have begun to suspect that the mosquito killing chemical methoprene, sprayed by neighboring New York State as part of its West Nile virus (WNv) control program, is contributing to widespread deaths of lobsters in the sound. Believing that a large amount of the chemical flowed into the sound in late summer due to heavy rains from Hurricane Irene, the lobster fishers are asking New York to follow Connecticut’s example and switch its WNv control method to the less toxic bacillus thuringiensis. Late summer declines in the sound’s lobster population have been alarmingly common throughout much of the last decade, devastating fishers and the local economy that depends on them. A number of factors have been blamed, but the lobstering community has increasingly been pointing to mosquito pesticides for several reasons. Methoprene has a tendency to sink to the bottom of the ocean water, where lobsters live and feed. Additionally, lobsters are a distant cousin of mosquitoes, and the methoprene acts on them in much the same way that it does the insects. Finally, the western part of the sound was the hardest […]

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10
Sep

Philippine Anti-Dengue Campaign Stresses Integrated Pest Management

(Beyond Pesticides, September 10, 2010) The Department of Health (DOH) of the Republic of the Philippines recently launched a strategy against Dengue Fever, favoring integrated pest management (IPM) strategies over pesticide sprays. The campaign, called D.E.N.G.U.E. stands for D – daily monitoring of patient’s status, E – encourage intake of oral fluids like oresol, water, juices, etc, N — note any dengue warning signs like persistent vomiting and bleeding, G — give paracetamol for fever and NOT aspirin, because aspirin induces bleeding, U — use mosquito nets and E — early consultation is advised for any warning signs. Health Secretary Enrique Ona also reiterated that the most effective way to prevent and fight dengue is still by practicing the DOH’s ”˜4-S’ strategy consisting of Search and destroy, Self-protective measures, Seek early treatment and Say no to indiscriminate fogging. The new D.E.N.G.U.E. strategy has been devised by the DOH to educate the public on home treatment of mild dengue cases. This is to also help decongest hospitals by giving an assurance that not all dengue cases require hospital confinement but can be managed at home using the strategy. Secretary Ona is educating the public that many dengue cases, if mild, can […]

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24
May

Beyond Pesticides Launches Mosquito Prevention Radio PSA’s

(Beyond Pesticides, May 24, 2010) It’s that time of year again when mosquitoes start breeding and biting, so Beyond Pesticides is releasing a new radio Public Service Announcement (PSA) on how to prevent mosquitoes and toxic pesticides from pestering you. Please send the mosquito prevention PSA below to your local radio station to help spread the word to others and keep your community mosquito- and pesticide-free. Let us know by email or Facebook the radio station’s name, city and state so we can follow-up! Mosquito Prevention PSA (30-seconds) “Want to know how to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes and toxic chemicals? Start by dumping standing water around your home and using only safe, pesticide-free insect repellants. Be sure to avoid repellents containing DEET as it can react with other commonly used chemicals as well as with certain medicines. For more information and to get your community to adopt safer mosquito management strategies, call 202-543-5450 or go to www.beyondpesticides.org/mosquito. A public service message from Beyond Pesticides.” Background Everyone can take a part in preventing mosquitoes. To start with, the best way to manage mosquitoes is to eliminate standing water as it provides the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Remove […]

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13
May

DEET-Resistant Mosquitoes Can Pass Trait to Offspring

(Beyond Pesticides, May 13, 2010) Recent tests find that mosquitoes that are insensitive to DEET, the pesticide commonly used to repel the pesky flying insect, can pass this characteristic as a genetic trait onto their offspring. The findings are published in the May 3 edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In order to hunt for blood, female mosquitoes use their antenna to locate humans; however, according to researchers, DEET temporarily destroys an insect’s sense of smell by hindering the function of certain odor receptors. The researchers observed which insects bit DEET-treated human arms and discovered that a gene alteration prohibited a sensory cell on the bugs’ antennae from detecting the chemical. “There is something in the antenna they use to smell that reacted differently,” Dr. Nina Stanczyk of Rothhamstead Research, an agricultural research center in the U.K., told the Toronto Star. Scientists studied one species of DEET-insensitive mosquitoes, the Aedes aegypti, a species that carry the diseases yellow fever and dengue fever. When mutated females were bred with males of unknown sensitivity in tests, the quantity of mosquitoes that were insensitive to DEET rose from 13 to 50 percent in one generation. Though scientists are […]

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