- The No Spray Coalition is appalled by Mayor Bloomberg's
decision to renew mass-spraying of dangerous pesticides in the Bronx and
Queens. Furthermore, we condemn the New York City government's advice to
residents and visitors that they personally use insect repellants containing
DEET on themselves and their children. DEET is especially dangerous for
children and should NEVER be used; it is associated with numerous infant
- The No Spray Coalition is also deeply troubled by NYC's
reckless spraying of Anvil 10 + 10 to kill mosquitoes.
- "After years of litigation to stop this reckless
spraying of pesticides which has contributed to skyrocketing increases
in cancer and asthma, and now the collapse of bee colonies in the New York
area, I am outraged that the Bloomberg Administration is renewing its mindless
criminal poisoning of the people and environment of our City," said
Howard Brandstein, coordinator of SOS-FOOD and a plaintiff in a federal
lawsuit brought seven years ago by the No Spray Coalition and other organizations
against Rudolph Giuliani and the New York City government.
- That lawsuit ended in April 2007, when NYC signed a settlement
agreement acknowledging, among other stipulations, that pesticides:
- - may remain in the environment beyond their intended
purpose - cause adverse health effects - kill mosquitoes' natural predators
(such as dragonflies) - increase mosquitoes' resistance to the sprays,
and - are not presently approved for direct application to waterways.
- The Department of Health contravenes that settlement
by now stating that "there are no significant risks of adverse impact
to human health associated with the proper use of this product," said
No Spray Coalition coordinator Mitchel Cohen. "This is simply not
true," Cohen said, claiming that the spraying puts many New York City
residents and visitors at grave risk.
- "These kind of ignorant and lying politicians and
bureaucrats apparently have no problem destroying our health in order to
'save' us from the so-called West Nile virus," Howard Brandstein added.
"Clearly, the spraying jeopardizes a thousand times more people than
- The pesticide the City is spraying -- "Anvil 10
+ 10" -- belongs to a class of adulticides known as pyrethroids, which
are endocrine disruptors. They mimic hormones such as estrogen, and may
cause breast cancer in women and drastically lower sperm counts in men.
Pyrethroids have also been associated with prostate cancer, miscarriages
and preterm delivery, asthma, toxicity to many vital organs including the
nervous system, liver, kidneys and the gastro-intestinal tract, skin rashes,
itching and blisters, and nausea and vomiting.
- Anvil contains the cancer-causing chemical piperonyl
butoxide, which the Environmental Protection Agency lists as a suspected
carcinogen. It also contains Sumithrin -- a synthetic toxin, made in the
laboratory -- as well as benzene-related chemicals (which the label calls
- Thousands of New Yorkers were severely sickened by the
spraying in 1999 and 2000. A number of members of the No Spray Coalition,
including several of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, died from pesticide-related
- Many suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS)
or Asthma caused or exacerbated by the spraying. "The City administration
must be made to understand that pesticides are extremely dangerous to human
health as well as to the natural environment, and have long-term consequences,"
- The No Spray Coalition strongly urges the City to stop
pesticide spraying immediately, reconsider its entire approach, and seek
alternative, safe means to control mosquitoes. There are natural, safe
ways for each person to ward off mosquitoes. The City should not be poisoning
the entire population.
- You can get more information at http://www.NoSpray.org.
- No Spray Coalition P.O. Box 739 Peck Slip Station New
York, NY 10272
- hotline: #718-670-7110 website: www.nospray.org listserve:
SprayNo@yahoogroups.com email: email@example.com
- Pesticides and the Studies Testimony of Mitchel Cohen,
to the Department of Sanitation
- Even tiny amounts of pesticides kill fish, horseshoe
crabs (which, in addition to being the oldest creatures on the planet,
are indispensable for scientific research), butterflies, bees, birds, dragonflies,
etc., as well as mosquitoes and unwanted critters. The labels on Malathion,
Pyrethroids, and piperonyl butoxide (a so-called synergist and a carcinogen)
all warn against spraying over or near bodies of water.
- Pesticides are especially dangerous for brain and nerve
development in young children, and for elderly people. Bicycles and Wheelchairs
pick up pesticides on their wheels and bring them into the apartment or
house. Children touch the sprays and put their fingers into their mouths.
- In April 2007, the City agreed to settle a 7-year-old
lawsuit against its massive and indiscriminate spraying of toxic pesticides
brought under the Clean Water Act by the No Spray Coalition, which I coordinate.
In addition to winning $80,000 for a number of local grassroots environmental
and wildlife protection groups, as part of the settlement agreement the
City admitted (and I quote): "Pesticides may remain in the environment
beyond their intended purpose, ... cause adverse health effects, ... kill
mos-quitoes' natural predators, ... increase mosquito resistance to the
sprays, ... and are not present-ly approved for direct application to waterways."
- The following seven groups of published studies speak
directly to this grave issue, which is one of extraordinary environmental
- i. Centers for Disease Control study that found that
all residents of the United States, including residents of New York City
and State, now carry dangerously high levels of pesticides and their residues
in our bodies, which may have onerous effects on our health. (Third National
Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, Centers for Disease
- ii. U.S. Geological Study, which shows that a large percentage
of waterways and streams throughout the United States, including those
in New York City and State, has been found to contain environmentally destructive
pesticides that may severely impact on animal and aquatic life. (U.S. Geological
Survey: The Quality of Our Nation's Waters, Pesticides in the Nation's
Streams and Ground Water, 1992-2001, http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/2005/1291/);
- iii. Studies confirming that pesticides are both a trigger
for asthma attacks and a root cause of asthma (Salam, et al: Early-life
environmental risk factors for asthma findings from the children's health
study. Environmental Health Perspectives 112(6):760-765.), and that asthma
is epidemic throughout New York City;
- iv. Cicero Swamp Study, showing that pesticides killed
off the natural predators of mosquitoes and that mosquitoes came back much
stronger after the spraying, because all of their natural predators (which
have a longer reproductive cycle) were dead. These studies were done in
New York state for mosquitoes carrying Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and
found a 15-fold increase in mosquitoes after repeated spraying, and that
virtually all of the new generations of mosquitoes were pesticide-resistant.
(Journal of the Am Mosquito Control Assoc, Dec; 13(4):315-25, 1997 Howard
JJ, Oliver New York State Department of Health, SUNY-College ESF, Syracuse
- v. Studies that show that pesticides have cumulative,
multigenerational, degenerative impacts on human health, especially on
the development of children which may not be evident immediately and may
only appear years or even decades later (The Multigenerational, Cumulative
and Destructive Impacts of Pesticides on Human Health, Especially on the
Physical, Emotional and Mental Development of Children and Future Generations.
A Submission to The House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment
and Sustainable Development by Physicians and Scientists for a Healthy
World, February 2000; Guillette, Elizabeth, et al: Anthropological Approach
to the Evaluation of Pre-school Children Exposed to Pesticides in Mexico.
Environmental Health Perspective, Vol. 106, No.6, June 1998; Kaplan, Jonathan
et al. Failing Health. Pesticides Use in California Schools. Report by
Californians for Pesticide Reform, 2002, American Academy of Pediatrics,
Committee on Environmental Health; Ambient Air Pollution: Respiratory Hazards
to Children, Pediatrics 91, 1993);
- vi. Studies that show that pesticides make it easier
for mosquitoes and other organisms to get and transmit West Nile Virus
due to damage to their stomach lining. (Haas, George. West Nile virus,
spraying pesticides the wrong response. American Bird Conservancy, October
23, 2000); and,
- vii. Studies that show that pyrethroid spraying is ineffective
in reducing the number of the next generation of mosquitoes. (Efficacy
of Resmethrin Aerosols Applied from the Road for Suppressing Culex Vectors
of West Nile Virus, Michael R. Reddy, Department of Immunology and Infectious
Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, et. al.,
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, Volume 6, Number 2, June 2006)
- The use of toxic pesticides to control mosquitoes is
a significant Environmental Justice issue; there have been no realistic
environmental impact studies in the last few years on spraying in NYC;
no studies in NYC of the pesticide-spraying's effects on human health and
the natural environment; and no studies of cumulative impacts of different
pesticides on the population.
- Mitchel Cohen