Daily News Archive
October 4, 2006
Spraying in the Streets as Citizens Protest
(Beyond Pesticides, October 4, 2006) The New York
City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) sprayed the dangerous
in sections of Brooklyn last month and continues to fog Staten Island,
purportedly to kill mosquitoes which may or may not be carrying West
Nile virus. City officials also ordered spraying in Queens and the Bronx.
Despite a recent study by the Harvard
School of Public Health showing the inefficacy of truck-mounted
spraying in reducing the transmission of disease, the first spraying
of the year took place on the evening of August 21 in Brooklyn. “It’s
as though the City Department of Health has learned nothing in all these
years,” No Spray Coalition spokesperson Mitchel Cohen told Brooklyn
News 12, which broadcast an extensive report on opposition to the spraying.
The spray truck – now driven by unionized NYC workers wearing
DOHMH insignias – recklessly spewed pesticides in a thick cloud
down crowded 5th Avenue in Sunset Park and in the surrounding area in
utter disregard of the hundreds of people walking the streets. The truck
blasted pregnant women and many, many little children with the spray,
and fogged people in dozens of restaurants – their doors wide
open – without warning as they ate.
According to Brooklyn's
No Spray Coalition,
the City put up no signs in the neighborhoods announcing the spraying.
They made no public warnings about the dangers of pesticides, the links
between pesticides and asthma - which is an epidemic throughout New
York City - childhood cancers, lymphomas, neurological disorders, chemical
sensitivities . . . nothing.
This year, City
officials have put forth even less information than in the past as to
why they decide to spray pesticides. In addition, they have started
spraying earlier in the evening, even though people are more likely
to be on the streets and directly affected by the spraying.
The No Spray Coalition
learned about the plan to spray in Brooklyn earlier that same day and
set up a literature table near by at the “F” train exit
on the corner of McDonald Avenue and Albemarle Rd. in the residential
Kensington section shortly before the spraying began. Around a dozen
participants distributed hundreds of flyers, spoke with local store
owners, and held a Speak-Out right there on the corner.
The pesticide mixture that the City continues to spray this year contains
the cancer-causing chemical piperonyl
butoxide. It also contains so-called “inert ingredients,”
which, despite the innocuous-sounding category (“inert”
ingredients), are also dangerous. In addition, pyrethroids such as Sumithrin,
the active ingredient in Anvil 10 + 10, have been shown to be hormone
(endocrine) disruptors and neurotoxins as well as serious lung irritants.
The No Spray Coalition has called for people throughout the City to
protest the spraying. Some may block the spray trucks. Others may do
theater, write to their local government officials, hand out flyers
in their neighborhoods and schools, or take other actions deemed necessary
to save our lives from the dangerous sprays the City is using.
Source: No Spray
ACTION: For responsible, safer and smarter control of
mosquitos and vector diseases in your community see Beyond Pesticides’
Tools for Change at www.beyondpesticides.org/mosquito/activist/index.htm.