Target: Dr. Robert Califf, FDA Commissioner
Goal: Stop spraying cancer-causing and hormone-disrupting pesticides in residential areas.
Every year when spring arrives, many cities begin to spray pesticides. These efforts have redoubled with the recent outbreak of the Zika virus, thought to be carried by mosquitoes. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, spraying pesticides designed to kill adult mosquitoes is the least effective form of mosquito control. These pesticides can also end up killing off natural predators for mosquitoes rather than mosquitoes themselves.
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water, meaning that eggs aren’t killed by the airborne pesticides. Sprays are rendered useless when the eggs hatch and a new horde of mosquitoes emerges. What these pesticides do harm are people, animals and harmless insects.
Cities are supposed to release notices before spraying, but not all do. Many reportedly opt to spray at night instead. However, this leaves outdoor pets, children’s toys, open windows, window fans and garden-grown vegetables exposed to these poisons, which have been linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and fetal abnormalities.
This is unacceptable, considering there is not a noticeable decrease in mosquito populations with pesticide spraying. Urge the FDA to stop allowing fear mongering to fuel the demand for pesticides. Demand that they ban the use of poisons in residential and suburban areas.
Dear Dr. Califf,
Every year a new virus springs up that scientists blame on mosquitoes. Every year this results in more poisons, or pesticides, being dumped over residential areas. This needs to stop. With the increasing complaints made by people suffering diseases caused by agricultural pesticides, it should be a given that spraying pesticides around homes should stop.
While statements are made that these are not overly harmful to humans, that they are harmful at all is a problem. These pesticides are also responsible for killing other insects, such as bees, which the environment needs to remain stable. While little to no impact on mosquito populations can be seen from all this spraying, other insects that prey on mosquitoes can hardly be found at all.
There are non-toxic alternatives that can be looked into, and resulting to dumping chemicals on people should not be the go-to response any time there is a new mosquito scare. Stop putting the lives of children, adults and pets at risk for a practice that has shown itself to be ineffective. Consider the impact this has on the environment, and please ban pesticide use in residential areas.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: CGP Grey