Are You Concerned About Mosquito Spraying in Nassau?

Questions about health and safety arise during ongoing spraying throughout Nassau County.

Several concerns have been raised about possible health effects from mosquito spraying after Nassau County Department of Health (NCDOH) officials completed throughout the county.

Some residents feel that not only is the spray ineffective against the mosquito population but extremely hazardous to their own health.

"We all shouldn't be subject to being dosed with pesticides because there's a group of people who call up the health department and don't want mosquitoes to bother them at their barbecues," said Cathy Gottschalk, founder of the newly formed group NoSprayLI.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), spraying adulticides, pesticides intended to kill adult mosquitoes, is usually the least efficient mosquito control technique.

The New York State Department of Health has also reported that widespread aerial or ground spraying of adulticides can result in acute asthma attacks, other respiratory problems or dermatological problems.

"Our spray is approved and recommended by the department of environmental conservation," said Mary Ellen Laurain, Director of the Office of Communications and Health Education for the NCDOH. "They permit us and tell us what to spray."

"We recommend that people should avoid coming into direct contact with the spray," Laurain added. "The health effects are considered low. People should reduce or eliminate any exposure to the spray." 

Linda Motley August 14, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Heck, thousands of us followed the mosquito fog trucks around in the '50's and we're all fine, Heck, thousands of us followed the mosquito fog tricks arond in the '50's and were all fin. Hek, thusads of s folowed the msquito fig trks arond n the '50's dna we al jes fin.hkthsda f s flwed th msqto fg trks arnd n the5o's n w allll fn...
Kathy Jeacoma August 14, 2012 at 02:02 PM
You know, part of the reason that the beaches-especially Jones Beach West end are so underpopulated are the mosquitoes- Spray at night to minimize exposure-nobodys down there anyway-we need the spray folks-
CHRISTOPHER HELGY August 14, 2012 at 02:29 PM
tracy August 14, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Something has to be done about the green flies. As soon as my kids go into the pool they are eaten alive by those damn things. I have spent so much money on all kinds of contraptions but have had no luck.
PedgeRocks August 14, 2012 at 03:18 PM
The article says it all. CDC: "the LEAST effective method..." NY state DOH: "widespread aerial or ground spraying of adulticides can result in acute asthma attacks, other respiratory problems or dermatological problems." "So now our local officials know more than the CDC and the Health Dept? Yeah, right! How ridiculous is that?! NCDOH ignores recommendations of NY State DOH? Don't tell us that ground spraying is better/different. I don't buy it. Have received no response from officials to e-mails concerning this issue. Not even a polite acknowledgment.
PedgeRocks August 14, 2012 at 03:19 PM
As a Massapequa resident who has been opposed to spraying for prevention of the West Nile virus, I must inform you of my experience this morning – the morning after our ground spray. My opposition is due to the fact that the threat of contracting West Nile virus, and of being harmed by the virus, is relatively small for any one person. I do not think that this small threat outweighs the harm of the entire population being exposed to Scourge. The population includes many more people - those who are very young/old, those who have cancer, those who have compromised immune systems, etc.- who are in far greater danger from Scourge than the number of people who are in danger from West Nile. In addition, as you will see below, the spraying simply does not work, even in the short term! This morning, as I have done in the past and as instructed on the Nassau County website, I went outside to hose down our lawn furniture, lawn toys, BBQ, etc. Within 5 minutes of being outside, I had at least one dozen mosquito bites! According to the Nassau County website, it is expected that there be fewer mosquitoes right after spraying. Obviously, this is not the case. Despite my opposition to the spraying, I was thinking that if there was nothing I could do about it there would at the very least be fewer mosquitoes the next morning, which would be a slight benefit if I had to put up with this ridiculous spraying. Even that did not happen!
PedgeRocks August 14, 2012 at 03:20 PM
In addition, it was pouring outside, which, according to the website, washes away the Scourge. Please tell me, exactly, what is the long-term benefit of this spraying? Since there is seemingly not even a short-term benefit, I find it difficult to believe that there is ANY benefit, other than for the companies that are getting paid to spray! I also will mention my concern on what the spraying will do to our sensitive ground water supply in the long term. Has anyone even given this consideration? Has anyone considered the use of an ecologically viable treatment? We are already threatened by contamination from the Liberty site, why would we even consider adding to the problem. You are directly responsible for dumping literally thousands of gallons of toxins into our aquifer!!! I IMPLORE you and the Nassau County Legislature to rethink spraying for the future. It is bad enough that we are exposed to toxins and pesticides that we cannot control. However, in this case we can control our exposure and we are being exposed to a toxin that is questionable at best for achieving the goal (also questionable) which you say you want to achieve. This makes absolutely no sense to me.
PedgeRocks August 14, 2012 at 03:22 PM
*** Should have said "THAT morning..." (the one after the spraying). This was form a letter I wrote to officials,
Massapequa Mom August 15, 2012 at 06:09 AM
SPRAYING IS AN ABSURD PRACTICE!!!!!! As for the mother who wants them to spray so her children can swim without being bitten by flies, all I can say is educate yourself- for your children's sake!!! These chemicals are highly toxic, and as PedgeRocks noted, were getting all of the chemicals, but no return. I for one do not want my family exposed to these chemicals. They are carcinogens and we should have a say in what we are exposed to.
Nick Febree August 16, 2012 at 01:04 AM
With so much science available to prove the spraying is not only inneffective, but also harmful to human health, it is unconscienable and negligent for our elected representatives to allow this practice to continue. I urge every voter to contact Ed Mangano's office directly, their local representatives, and the Nassau County Dept of Health to voice their concerns. Email is fine but snail mail and phone calls are better. We can bring their offices to a halt if we call incessantly to voice our concerns and complaints. They must educate themselves and in the future must utilize an environmentally sensible alternative. We as VOTERS must settle for nothing less!!
Frank White August 18, 2012 at 12:57 AM
I wonder if all the rich folk in the rich north shore neighborhoods get to share these toxins with us? I also see how massapequa bought a strip of land for a cell tower. How nice is that. I think it's completely fucked up how we don't get a say in this. Either situations!!!! I'm sick of all of these politicians and gov half wits thinking they know what's best for us.


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