City Adopts Landmark Law to Stop Pesticide Spraying for West Nile Virus
(Beyond Pesticides, July 14, 2003) The City of Lyndhurst, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, passed a landmark ordinance on July 7, 2003 prohibiting the spraying of pesticides "in an effort to help control the spread of the West Nile virus." The City's action follows a community forum in which a panel of experts on mosquito management and health effects of pesticides discussed the hazards and the lack of efficacy associated with the spraying of adulticides, or pesticides used to spray adult mosquitoes.
In adopting the groundbreaking ban, the City Council pointed to other mosquito management methods that are known and accepted to be more effective. The Council stated, "[T]here is substantial belief that the more effective way of controlling the mosquito population is by larvacide treatment and thorough education of the City's residents regarding methods and procedures to minimize exposure to the virus." In adopting the ordinance, the Council found that "the risk/benefit analysis conducted by experts clearly indicates that the 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." Other communities, such as Ft. Worth, Texas and Washington, DC, have adopted administrative programs that do not spray adulticides for West Nile Virus.
Read the Lyndhurst, Ohio ordinance online.
For more information on public policy and mosquito management, please see Beyond Pesticides' Mosquito and West Nile virus program page. For more information on the ordinance, contact Councilman Scott Picker is the contact person in Lyndhurst. He can be reached at 216-272-0357 or 216-381-1641, or e-mail [email protected].