SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Salt Lake City Mosquito Control District (SLCMAD) intends to increase property taxes to fund an increased effort to spray pesticides against mosquitoes.
According to Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, an organization of about 400 Utah healthcare professionals, health and environmental experts, believes the practice of aerial spraying of pesticides should be stopped altogether. This method of controlling mosquito populations is considered obsolete and dangerous for the environment and the people who live in it.
Dr Brian Moench, Chairman of the Board of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, said about it:
“It makes no sense to expose hundreds of thousands of people to nerve chemicals in a futile attempt to prevent a different nerve disease (West Nile virus) in a few dozen people. The fact that SLCMAD is now raising property taxes to do even more spraying further exacerbates bad public policy. “
Here are some reasons why healthcare professionals are unhappy with this practice:
- Spraying pesticides, even in small amounts, can affect brain development in infants. Even low dose exposure is associated with higher rates of autism and loss of intellect. Utah has one of the highest rates of autism in the country.
- Decisions about public exposure to these chemicals should be made by people with expertise in public health, toxicology and environmental toxins. The group believes that the public should not be unintentionally exposed to these toxins.
- Aerial spraying of pesticides on 170,000 acres, which is happening now, contributes to air pollution.
- Mosquitoes are becoming resistant to pesticides, forcing the need for chemical sprays to evolve and become potentially more dangerous than they already are. Pesticides do not reduce the incidence of West Nile virus, which is no longer the widespread public health hazard it once was.
- According to UPHE, citing safety as the reason for spraying pesticides is based on flawed science and ignores the majority of relevant medical studies.
UPHE board member Dr Courtney Henley says knowledge of the dangers of widespread pesticide spraying has been around for a long time. She points to the irresponsibility of those who still practice these sprays, saying, “It’s been 60 years since Rachael Carson released Silent Spring and Utah government agencies are still putting deadly chemicals in our environment without thinking about the impact. cumulative negative of these chemicals. on our communities or the low efficiency of the practice.
SLCMAD’s board of directors will hold a public hearing Thursday at 4:30 p.m. to vote on the tax increase for the increased spraying of pesticides against mosquitoes and the public comment will take place at 6 p.m.
Click here for more meeting details and here to register for the webinar.