Malathion-West Nile and lives
gochfeld at eohsi.rutgers.edu
Thu Jun 21 23:05:55 EDT 2001
Paul was very careful in the following statement to use the word
Paul Wrote: " For example, for the past two years NABA has protested the
Malathion spraying over New York City on its website - spraying that
potentially has saved many human lives."
As the author of the article on West Nile in AMERICAN BUTTERFLIES which
pointed out that aerial spraying of insecticides for adult mosquitoes
should have been the last, rather than first line of defense, I feel
obliged to answer this.
First of all, the protestations were against the aerial spraying in
1999, rather than against the larviciding and targetted ground spraying
Because neither NYC nor the New York counties did any mosquito
surveillance before hand (much less virus isolations), nor evaluation of
knockdown afterwards, there is no evidence that the spraying of
malathion (or also of Scourge and Anvil) potentially saved ANY human
lives, much less "many human lives".
Clearly, in 2000 when surveillance programs were in place, there was
much less spraying AND much less human disease despite abundant
evidence of virus activity in birds and mosquitoes.
I will share with the list a draft of an editorial I am preparing
showing how much better the public health community (and the media) are
dealing with West Nile in 2001 than in 1999.
PS: My community is planning to do some adulticiding (an unpleasant
neologism) for mosquitos where WNV has been isolated in the past week.
There will be relatively little opposition to this program.
NYC, in its arrogance, completely ignored impact on non-target species.
Michael Gochfeld MD, PhD
Professor of Environmental and Community Medicine
UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
EOHSI Building---170 Frelinghuysen Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854 USA
Phone 732-445-0123 x627 fax 732-445-0130
"gochfeld at eohsi.rutgers.edu"
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