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City pesticides and city politics: Squashing more than just bugs?

spray[permalink]On Monday night community members (photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5) from the Lincoln Square neighborhood congregated outside the Streets and Sanitation building located on Lawrence Ave. in an attempt to stop the spraying of Anvil in their neighborhood.

Anvil is a toxic pesticide that kills adult mosquitoes on contact. It also poses health risks to children, seniors, pregnant women and asthmatics. If inhaled it can cause a multiplicity of symptoms and has suspected links to breast cancer.

A press release issued by the public health department said that city traps infected with West Nile Virus jumped 33 percent last week. Dr. William Paul, acting public health commissioner, is quoted as saying, "Spraying to kill adult mosquitoes is a sensible and effective component of an integrated pest management program." Currently there are four confirmed cases of West Nile in Illinois, one being in Chicago.

Paul arrived at the scene around 7:30 p.m. to speak with the corporate media. After 50 to 75 trucks (photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4), sporting the Clarke Mosquito Control logo escorted by city trucks had left to spray the North Side neighborhoods, Paul agreed to see 5 community members to discuss their concerns. In the meeting, Paul stated that the automated phone calls were ineffective in notifying the public about the sprayings, and according to Julie Peterson, teacher and community member, "Paul expressed regret that notification of the second spraying was not disseminated at all." Finally, Paul agreed he would "commit to public meetings" regarding future spraying.

Many community members felt that Paul's presence was more of a political smokescreen than an actual concern for public health. Is mass spraying effective? Even Paul, according to community member Marty Glass, "was unsure of the level of effectiveness."

If citizens would like to get involved or help organize a public meeting, please go to the Beyond Today website or e-mail for more information. Read the full article.

Chicago Indymedia Coverage: Advisory - City Will Spray Again This Weekend - Now What? | Emergency Meeting about Pesticide Spraying Tonight | The city blankets the people with pesticides without debate, without notice.
Map of Spray Areas on North and South Sides: .pdf file
Alternatives to Spraying: | Safer Pest Control Project | | Beyond Pesticides
City Resources: Chicago Department of Public Health | CDC's West Nile Virus Homepage
Additional Information: The Great Spray Debate - Spring 2003 | Only Bidder on New York's 3-year pesticide spraying campaign under investigation | Six Applicators Sick After Spraying Anvil for Mosquito Control | Pyrethroid pesticides are health hazards | Overkill: Why Pesticide Spraying for West Nile Virus May Cause More Harm Than Good




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