Sunday, August 07, 2016

Letter to South Florida On Zika And Naled Spraying ... guest blog

Naled was banned by the European Union in 2012 because the risk to humans and to the environment was deemed unacceptable.

Dear XXX:  I am Professor from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus and I have been actively involved in the movement to prevent Naled spraying in PR. We all have heard of the intention to fumigate Miami with Naled and we are starting to see in Florida a repeat of what we went through: public servants not reading the science that is in front of them.  ... The scare campaign from the EPA and the CDC to spray Naled in PR had been relentless.  The latest attempt was a video from President Obama.  

My generation has never had a President address our territory so you can imagine how we all feel when a President tells us that we need to take this seriously and when the CDC tells the press that they failed to raise conscience here.   Puerto Rico is in a dire financial crisis and the last thing we need now is to loose our health with something that is doomed to fail from all angles.

Here are the facts understood buy 96% of the citizens of Puerto Rico: 

1) Naled was banned by the European Union in 2012 because the risk to humans and to the environment was deemed unacceptable. The question is why should the risk be acceptable to US citizens?

European Union EU: Non-inclusion of Naled in Annexes I, IA or IB of Biocides Directive 98/8/EC, Decision 2012/257/EU.

2) The evidence relating cancer and other chronic illnesses to organophosphate exposure goes from here to the moon.  How many peer-review papers do we need to say no more?

Ntzani et al., 2013. External Scientific Report. Literature review on epidemiological studies linking exposure to pesticides and health effects.  EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) supporting publication EN-497 [Online]

3) Relying on pesticide use for mosquito vector control as the first and only solution in hand can only lead to mosquito resistance to pesticides and the production of super mosquitoes, making the control of tropical diseases even harder.

Liu N. 2015. Insecticide Resistance in Mosquitoes: Impact, Mechanisms, and Research Directions.  Annual Review of Entomology.  60: 537-559

4) Puerto Rico's Aedes is currently resistant to 10 different pesticides (including Malathion), partially resistant to Deltametrine and only non-resistant to Naled.  That's what re-current pesticide use does. Now we have more mosquitoes in PR and not one but three different viral diseases spread by them (Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika).  

5) Aedes aegyptis is a house mosquitoes with 80% of adults staying in and around houses or structures.
If that is the case why are we doing aerial spraying? What a waste of money in something that can be very damaging to our health.

6) The risk of Zika-led microcephaly in newborns has been grossly exaggerated while minimizing the risk to pesticide exposure. There is not a 1:1 correspondence between the number of microcephaly cases in Brazil and the number of babies who's mother's had Zika.  To date there is a about 1700 cases of microcephaly and only 277 of those had mothers who tested positive for Zika.   These stats are updated often, they are in Portuguese, but anybody with knowledge of Spanish can figure them out.  

What happened to to the other microcephaly cases? What is driving the high frequency microcephaly? Some are saying that is Brazil's high exposure to pesticides. Brazil is indeed one of the largest if not the largest consumer of pesticides for agriculture and mosquito vector control.

... the facts about Naled and Zika do not match the stories by the CDC and EPA. Naled is NOT safe to humans nor wildlife. Zika may be one of many factor leading to microcephaly but controlling the vector the right way with a real integral control management plan that focuses on removing breeding sites is a much healthier way to avoid being bitten and getting Zika. After reading about Naled, we rather take the risk. I hope that you can understand that this is a crossroads of sorts. With climate change mosquito vector control is a serious issue but it needs to be dealt with scientifically based information for once.  I hope that you do the right thing and spread this message to your constituents.  I am not asking your constituents to believe what I say but instead to look for answers inside credible sources you make decisions that will impact many children to come.

Sorry about the long letter but if I do not speak out, I will be just another accomplice....


Elvia Melendez-Ackerman, Ph. D.
Full Professor
College of Natural Sciences-CIAM
University of Puerto Rico-RP
PO Box 70377
San Juan, P.R. 00936-8377


Anonymous said...

Thank you for publishing! Who are we to believe? Is the aerial spraying just for show then? Because there seems to be a greater preoccupation with protecting the tourism industry than protecting the people in Miami?

Anonymous said...

Well, we knew about this earlier this year but local officials didn't step up until it was a crisis. Here's the NYTimes from January:
"Scientists say an explosive spreading of Zika is extremely unlikely in the continental United States. But Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that carries the virus, is tenacious and relatively impervious to broad outdoor spraying. Techniques for tracking it are outdated and underfunded. Experts interviewed here this week said fighting Zika will require a major shift in this country’s approach to mosquito control, namely more door-to-door action, a painstaking and expensive practice that many say is a tall order in an era of shrinking budgets and wariness of government intrusion.
“This guerrilla warfare house-to-house method is still very new and I’m not convinced that many places are prepared for it,” said Michael Doyle, the head of mosquito control for the Florida Keys, a district that used such tactics during an outbreak of the dengue virus in 2009 and 2010, one of the first major outbreaks in the United States since the 1930s.

Anonymous said...

Hey Miami Dade County: hire the Florida Key's mosquitoe control chief! He knows what to do.

al crespo said...

Dear Nancy,

There doesn't seem to be a link on this morning's post about your dear friend Raquel Regalado. Given that you've taken a couple good pot shots at me, I would certainly like to respond.


Your pal,

al crespo

Anonymous said...

@Crespo--just go the hell away

Anonymous said...

Pot shots, you are a good researcher is a pot shot.

Geniusofdespair said...

Sorry ill, not taking comments call me.

Brenda said...

Homestead is crazy bad with mosquitos. Where is the spraying of all these retention ponds Mr. mayor gimenez? We are getting eaten alive.

Anonymous said...

They called in the Air Force to spray Homestead in the past. C-130s spraying for mosquitoes is not normal. DIBROM=mutations and death.

Anonymous said...

This is crazy. First, spraying for this type of mosquito is of very limited efficacy. Second, if county-city got serious and heavily fined people for standing water and Bromeliads which seem to be the 'Miami plant of choice' my stupid neighbor filled her yard with them 60 days ago...maybe we would not have a problem?

NOTE: The city that banned spraying and instead opted for clean up has had NO ZIKA outbreak, go figure! City of South Miami. Gooooo Stoddard!

Anonymous said...

By Luiz Calderini - February 10, 2016 Cause of microcephaly is not Zika virus, can be applied vaccines in pregnant women Translate article. "Study author. Dr. Pliny Bezerra dos Santos Filho, PhD conducted study and signed complaint with the Attorney General. It is worth checking."

The Tdap used to be listed to be given at 22 weeks on the CDC site and has been changed to 3rd trimester near birth with no reason stating why the timing was changed. These sites says 20 weeks.

‘Like it’s been nuked’: Millions of bees dead after South Carolina sprays for Zika mosquitoes

Stavros Mitchelides said...