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The Abington Citizens Network
where Abington, PA residents can share ideas and join forces to build a better community
 

 

Pesticide  Spraying by DEP & Montco
  I have been involved with pesticides for over 25 years, after my son & friends were soaked by a neighbor's applicator.
 I have spoken with hundreds of people including legislators, applicators, reps of the industry
and I have worked with the chemically sensitive and seen the effects on their lives. 
I  played a role in passing both state and local legislation.
Here are just a very few of the links I have used to formulate my own opinion, which I share on this page.
  I hope you will research, too,  and share your thoughts.

WEST NILE VIRUS - MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION - HOW GOOD IS YOUR MATH ?

THE SUPERINTENDENT'S 2015 CONTRACT
   http://www.abingtoncitizens.com/aaISSUES/SchoolIssues/2015-05-26SuperintendentAgreement.pdf
HER SALARY OF $319,000 (a 132% increase from 2000 - about 6% increase for every year while the average Cost of Living increase has been about 2.2% a year), bonuses and a plethora of benefits not afforded to any other employees . While our schools are very good, they are not the top rated schools in PA ---although her salary is the top salary in PA.  Another important  question is at what rate did the TEAM of teachers and others increase as her salary and benefits  increased? Did they also get a 6% increas on average over the last 14 or 15 years. When Dr Sichel arrived on the scene in the (1990's as a guidance couselor ?) Abington had a reputation for good schools. That is why she and I both  chose Abington Schools for our own children.  So where is the analysis that Dr Sichel has not just managed to keep the "status quo and keep the good schools good?  Did we have a rank then and now. If anyone has that information, please share it . 
In addition I am highly concerned about paying someone a salary such as this when they are holding down 3-4 other jobs at the same time.
Are the "connections" important for the few that will ride the coat tails - or for the entire student body that she is to be serving?  Do we want someone influencing policy when clearly they think that leaders should be compensated so far above those that are actually teaching and mentoring our children?  Isn't this what's wrong with Washington?   There are so many questions to be answered when things are this far askew.
 

  WHAT DO WE NEED ? - we need a proper system of notification - education about the effects  of the chemicals being sprayed on us, our children , our fish, our bees, our playgrounds and our vegetable gardens and we need a central reporting place where we can see the reactions to the sprays, like the reports that they compile for West Nile. What would be even better : stop spraying !  I believe if people were fully informed, they would be appalled at what is being done.

 WHERE HAVE THEY SPRAYED :  Sprayings in Abington Pa so far this year (as of 9-3-12  have been first in the Pembryn Park  area (8-2) and then  the area around Hillside Cemetery and Ardsley Burial Park  (8-22 or 8-23).  (see roads listed below)  I have not been able to get an answer on the two conflicting reports yet - whether Pembryn Park was included again in the second spraying .

   HOW GOOD (bad)  ARE WE AT MATH ?  Does it make sense to dump potential cancer causing agents on hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions ) of people because 30 some  people in Texas died?  Please do not interpret this as my being in anyway unsympathetic to those who have suffered from West Nile .  But do understand that many more may be at risk if you analyse what is known about the "solution" .  Among the chemicals being used are  known or suspected carcinogens,  endocrine disrupters, immune system suppressants etc. .  Cancer, as you know, might take 5, 10 or 20 years to appear. It is rarely traced to its cause. Add to it the appropriate numbers of illness and death for endocrine disruption, immune system suppression and voila - a better picture of the real risk comes into view.   On the other hand, I imagine the math picture for the pesticide manufacturers looks fairly good. 65 deaths  prompting hundreds or thousands of sprayings nationwide. (The 65 is as of this writing 9-1-12 as reported by the CDC )
      
  WHY IS THERE NO REPORTING SYSTEM?  
Do you wonder why there is no "reporting system" for pesticide areas that are sprayed and no direct notification to the people directly receiving the dose? They have no problem reporting each incident of West Nile.   But a record of the illnesses & reactions reported after a spray might give us a good start.  We need overall to demand notification, education on the symptoms of pesticide poisoning and central reporting places that are OPENLY published for reactions to the sprays . If you have had a reaction during a praying period, please let me know.

  SUMMARIES  Please watch/ read or at least skim 
A New Yorker blogs - http://washingtonsquareparkblog.com/ - a good overview
Toxic approaches municipalities take are  ineffective and dangerous: http://www.meepi.org/wnv/overkillma.htm
The Truth About Mosquitoes, Pesticides and West Nile Virus  Best summary article I have seen
             http://www.beyondpesticides.org/mosquito/documents/WNV%20Fact%20Sheet%209_30_04.pdf

   WHAT'S BEING USED LOCALLY ? The  pesticides being used in the  local Abington Cheltenham area  are Duet and Biomist . Chemicals in these include the Pyrethroids:  Permethrin,  Sumithrin and/or  Prallethrin and an agent called Piperonyl Butoxide:  known or suspected cancer causing agents, neurotoxins, endocrine disrupters , etc, and also  toxic to bees, aquatic life and the natural predators such as dragonflies ( and every most all other beneficial insects) and mosquito eating fish.  Immune systems of  bats,  who can eat over 3,000 insects a night, can be compromised. So the entire ecological balance gets sent out of whack if you cover the environment with these poisons.  In some areas there are reports of larvicides ( deemed the best way to control West Nile) being reduced because of the budgetary limitations. Less effective adulticide sprayings have ruled and   

     Again :  The most egregious part of this is the lack of  notification and education about the symptoms .

In one California area subjected to pesticide sprayings that residents were told were safe, one man who himself was affected, put a list together  and  collected 643 reports of illness right after the spray.  No one is doing that .. Very few are even being alerted that they are being "doused" at all. Reports of illness in a spray area are rarely,if ever, noted. And DEET which itself is responsible for deaths is being recommended freely…

   THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO KNOW
    ----  reports have indicated spraying seems to cause an increase in the  # of mosquitos
    ----  studies have reported that mosquitos sometimes become more aggressive when they return
    ----  natural immunities via production of antibodies can be built up when pesticides are not used.
    ----  inert ingredients that are not revealed have their own warnings and toxicity- they are not revealed
    ----  alternative remedies to protect against bites or for those annoyed by the biting are rarely distributed
    ----  pesticide regulations are nearly never followed properly - i.e.: washing down playground equipment
    ----  like antibiotics, the constant use of pesticides can cause resistant strains 
    ----  alternatives like  encouraging the bats and using mosquito fish are not being considered
    ----  cancer, endocrine disruption, etc. most often cannot be traced back to its cause, (and no one's trying)
    ----  as many as  a third,  at one calculation, of reported cases were from blood transfusions,
                 which requires better blood testing, not more spraying.
    ----  pesticide "safety" is based on a risk benefit analysis - i.e. more should die from the cause than the cure
    ----  pesticide "safety" depends upon following labeling guidelines- which nearly never are
     
    Here are links that may be helpful :

PA statistics on cases found    http://www.westnile.state.pa.us/surv.htm
Nationwide statistics from CDC - approx. 1/3 from blood donors(better blood tests, not sprays, are needed)    
               
    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/surv&controlCaseCount12_detailed.htm

Immunities built up   http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2009-09-10/news/0909090102_1_west-nile-virus-immune-globulin
Not using alternatives like mosquito fish  http://newyork.cbslocal.com/video/7676803-an-introduction-to-mosquito-eating-fish/
Permethrin --  links to studies   http://www.beyondpesticides.org/gateway/pesticide/permethrin.htm
Permethrin:  http://www.pesticide.org/get-the-facts/pesticide-factsheets/factsheets/permethrin
 Permethrin  http://www.beyondpesticides.org/gateway/pesticide/permethrin.htm
Permethrin -  Bad Actor - http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Summary_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC35397
Permethrin cis - not known yet    http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Summary_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC41887
Permethrin - harmful to fish, bees, other animals, some vegetation / should be kept out of all bodies of water /a fragile
                       balance exists between the quality and quantity of insects and other invertebrates that serve as fish food / Severe
                       bee losses may be expected if bees are present at treatment time, or within a day thereafter / toxic to wildlife /
                       should not be applied, or allowed to drift, to crops or weeds in which active foraging takes place
                        http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/metiram-propoxur/permethrin-ext.html

Permethrin    functions  as neurotoxin, affecting neuron membranes by prolonging sodium channel activation. .
                       but is dangerously toxic to cats and fish. low mammalian toxicity . Per EPA  a likely human carcinogen
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permethrin

Permethrin - per conversation with  NPIC is in an EPA  program (EDST)  screening for endocrine disrupters 
Permethrin:  http://www.pesticide.org/get-the-facts/pesticide-factsheets/factsheets/permethrin
Sumithrin:   http://www.pesticide.org/get-the-facts/pesticide-factsheets/factsheets/sumithrin
Sumithrin  :  dangers :
www.nospray.org/TechnicalFlyerPage1.pdf
Pyrethroids in general:  http://www.pesticide.org/get-the-facts/pesticide-factsheets/factsheets/pyrethrinspyrethrum
Pyrethroid  Symptoms - http://www.beyondpesticides.org/mosquito/reportsandpublications/PHMMS_Rev8_04.pdf
Pyrethroids, Sumithrin & Resmiethrin  : www.nospray.org/TechnicalFlyerPage1.pdf

Piperonyl Butoxide  :   Disrupts systems critical in neurological development
                           http://www.ewg.org/release/duke-study-confirms-toxicity-widely-used-pesticide-ingredient
Piperonyl Butoxide  :Prenatal exposure affects developing respiratory systems
             http://ccceh.org/pdf-papers/Liu2012.pdf?utm_source=PBO-Cough&utm_campaign=Center+Update&utm_medium=email
Piperonyl Butoxide  :
http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Summary_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC33240
Piperonyl Butoxide  :http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Summary_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC33240
Piperonyl Butoxide  :  http://www.pesticide.org/get-the-facts/pesticide-factsheets/factsheets/piperonylbutoxide
Inert ingredients, which constitutes most of the product:      http://www.ehponline.org/members/2006/9374/9374.pdf
Health Effects of Pesticides (Pesticide induced diseases )   http://www.beyondpesticides.org/health/index.htm
Endocrine disruption  http://www.beyondpesticides.org/health/endocrine.htm
Endocrine Disrupters : http://citybelt.typepad.com/LowDownonLowDoseEDs.PDF
Alternatives - http://www.beyondpesticides.org/mosquito/documents/LesstoxRepellents.pdf  
Who Has Reports after sprayings ?  - only EPA has  full collection of  reports which are not publicly printed attainable w/o FOIA
Duet:  The manufacturer's label:              http://www.clarke.com/images/pdf/Labels/2012Labels/duet.pdf
Duet:  The manufacturer's Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS):  http://www.clarke.com/images/pdf/MSDS/2012MSDS/duet-msds.pdf
Biomist, 3+15  manufacturer's label:    http://www.clarke.com/images/pdf/Labels/2012Labels/biomist315.pdf
Biomist  manufacturer's MSDS: http://www.clarke.com/images/pdf/MSDS/2012MSDS/biomist315-msds.pdf

DEET, similar effects to WNV:  Toxicology: http://www.pesticide.org/get-the-facts/pesticide-factsheets/factsheets/deet
DEET in
http://www.beyondpesticides.org/mosquito/reportsandpublications/PHMMS_Rev8_04.pdf
DEET http://www.beyondpesticides.org/mosquito/documents/LesstoxRepellents.pdf
 
Low doses not harmless http://www.beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/?p=7762
Low doses not harmless http://action.panna.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=9948
Low doses not harmless
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pesticide_poisoning
Low doses not harmless
http://citybelt.typepad.com/LowDownonLowDoseEDs.PDF

Pesticides known or suspected:
     cancer agents, endocrine disrupters, neurotoxins & immune systems suppressants

Cancer:  An  estimated cancer deaths 572,000 nationwide and 28,000 in Pa 2011
            
http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-029771.pdf   
            1 in 5 in the US can expect to die from cancer. http://www.panna.org/your-health/cancer
 Endocrine disruption ,  infertility and reproductive problems :
            
 http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-physiol-012110-142200
             
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3138025/ :                             
              http://www.endocrinedisruption.com/endocrine.edlaw11.php
Suppression of the immune system & neurotoxic defects
               http://www.chem-tox.com/brevard/index.htm 

Lack of Reporting - Falsification of Information - Inadequate Information

Government report :  The full danger from pesticides are likely much greater than we know and  we are not being told
              

One man on his own began collecting anecdotal or hospital incidents after sprayings and found 643 …after
               residents had been told what was sprayed was "safe"


Scott's Miracle Gro settlement of 8 million or more  for false registration and use of pesticides            
      
Massachussts Balks at Providing Evidence that sprays are effective

   ALTERNATIVES
  
There is  huge list of remedies for biting mosquitos that don't include toxins:
Fans :  mosquitos are poor fliers and fans on a patio area can  often control them sufficiently

Garlic Oil -   Professional http://www.professionalequipment.com/animal-insect-repellent-garlic-oil-garlic-barrier-r42406/pest-management   or google recipes to make at home 

Cedarcide -   http://www.cedarcidestore.com/PEST_PROTECTION.html   was recommended 8-12  by some -
        claims are made  that it kills & repels mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, bed bugs and other unwanted insects but
        does not harm bees, lady bugs and other beneficial insects (fish and aquatic invertebrates??? )
        Investigate further

Vitamin B1 megadoses (100 mg ? look up any problems with that first) . Mosquitos will still land
           on your skin, but will not bite as frequently according to claims . Investigate further

Catnip mosquito repellant -   one report said it worked but had to be regularly reapplied - 
          and they would substitute coconut, almond,  or sesame oil for the more pungent olive oil in the recipe
          http://www.eastbaypesticidealert.org/Catnip%20Mosquito%20Repellant.htm

Lemon Eucalyptus Oil  http://www.beyondpesticides.org/mosquito/documents/LesstoxRepellents.pdf 

Essential Oils
http://www.beyondpesticides.org/mosquito/documents/LesstoxRepellents.pdf 

Picaridin http://www.beyondpesticides.org/mosquito/documents/LesstoxRepellents.pdf 

Citronella http://www.beyondpesticides.org/mosquito/documents/LesstoxRepellents.pdf 

Skin so Soft - aids minimally in repelling per my experience - not a great deterrent - others report that
                       it has to be constantly reapplied - too often to  be effective

Catch Mosquitos that get indoors 
         
1. Cut a plastic bottle in half, a small one is fine          
          2. Dissolve brown sugar in hot water and let it cool down & pour into the bottom half of the bottle.
          3. Add yeast to the sugar (Carbon dioxide will be given off and will attract the mosquitoes.
          4. Insert the top portion upside down to make a " funnel" entrance
          5. Cover the outside of the bottle withblack paper or dark material
          6.  Place it in a dark corner in your house
          7. Replace mixture every 2 weeks
           You will be surprised by the number of mosquitoes killed in a week or 2

 For Communities :  Introduce Bats Dragonflies & Mosquito Fish 
               Mosquito Fish http://newyork.cbslocal.com/video/7676803-an-introduction-to-mosquito-eating-fish/
__________________________________________________________________________

WHAT'S HAPPENING in ABINGTON, PA

 2013  Sept 19th   -in ABINGTON -    --between 7:30–11:00PM. the spraying purportedly took place  in  Wards 11, 14, and 5 --- Susquehanna from Edge Hill  to Easton Road; Easton Road from Susquehanna  to Rubicam Avenue; -- Rubicam Ave from Easton Rd to Rockwell Rd; -- Rockwell Rd from Rubicam Avenue to Edge Hill Rd; -- Edge Hill Rd from Rockwell Rd to Susquehanna Rd.   and in Ward 9 Ardsley - on Susquehanna Rd from Bradfield Rd to Fitzwatertown Rd; -- Fitzwatertown  from Susquehanna  to North Hills Ave; -- North Hills Ave from Fitzwatertown  to Jenkintown Rd; -- Jenkintown Rd from North Hills Aveto the train tracks parallel to Tyson Avenue; -- the train tracks from Jenkintown Rd to Bradfield Rd; -- Bradfield Rd from the train tracks to Susquehanna Road. The pesticide will be Biomist 3+15 ULV. This was done by the  MontCo Department of Health at 610-278-5117.  

  2012  August -in ABINGTON  

8-23-12 They are spraying again -  This time around Hillside Cemetery and Ardsley Burial Park  (8-22 or 8-23). Fitzwatertown /Bradfield / Edgehill /  Jenkintown Rd/ back to Fitzwatertown )    The TV  report  listed Pembryn Park too .  Re Dean's office .  ( by 9-3-12 I had still not received any clarification on the two conflicting reports yet - whether Pembryn Park was included again or not.)

  8-1-12  although an announcement was made on July 30, today is the first that I learned that there was an intent to apply  DUET  ---TONIGHT to kill mosquitoes bearing the West Nile virus. The area in Abington is specified as between Edgehill &  Easton and Mt Carmel & Jenkintown Rd.     It is raining as I write this-so it is possible that the spraying has been postponed till tomorrow.  But there are grave concerns with a system that notifies only a few, and those who are not notified are the ones being exposed to the chemical. Especially after last year's outcry.

1) Residents would have no idea if they had a reaction to what they had been exposed to
2)  Residents would have no way of protecting themselves and their children their vegetable gardens their pets, their bees and fish ( Duet is highly toxic to bees and fish)

3)  Residents  would have no ability to research the chemical or to learn anything about the risk benefit analysis.  Although West Nile mosquitoes have been discovered in the many counties, there has been no reported case this year of any human infection.  Most human infections only lead to headache & flu like symptoms - and only a very few lead to encephalitis or anything more severe.  while deaths from West Nile are unacceptable if they can be prevented,  it is also unacceptable to use toxins in a manner that no reasonable opportunity exists for residents to perform a risk benefit analysis themselves.  Oversight is an extremely important feature of good government.  Without it , I think we can agree we have seen adequate examples of extremely bad decisions not in our interests.  This has been one of them. There was no "emergency". Residents  had the right to have proper information before having pesticides applied to their properties.

We thought last year our protests might matter. But nothing has changed. The process still leaves those affected completely out of the loop. The Township has collected emails - but did not use them .  My Commissioner has a huge portion of his Constituency on email -myself included -  but did not notify us. 

 

  2011 September -in ABINGTON  

We were notified last minute that there would be a spraying, from trucks, for West Nile Virus . Many residents protested the action itself ( having unwanted chemicals applied to their property) as well as the fact that the last minute notice meant that  very few were informed and very few had an opportunity to either research the chemicals or take any adequate precautions.

The pesticide spraying was canceled.

  2008 - in ABINGTON, PA  Aerial Spraying 

On August 26th and August 27th, 2008 the DEP and Montgomery County chose to treat many of the local  townships, including Abington, to eradicate the mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus.  Unfortunately, the aerial spraying was made without the knowledge of many of the residents over whose homes  the pesticide was applied.

The way that this was done, without advance notification or education about the chemicals being used did not enable residents to even all get the message. Many may have been out in the spray itself - without any knowledge that it was happening & that there were precautions to take. Neither did they have an opportunity to voice their  approval or rejection of this process or educate themselves.

The chemical used Aug 27th between 8 and 12 pm was Resmethrin - 

While TV reports stated that officials had apologized for this oversight, we have yet to see what Abington's reaction might be. We hope that this issue will point out the need for better communications (that we have been requesting for several years now), including open forums to discuss issues just such as this one, and we hope that residents rights and wishes will be respected by design in the future.

While some may think that the West Nile virus is a terrible threat, a Times Chronicle article tells us that there has only been one case of the virus in humans in the state. The article did not indicate that the patient had died - just that the diagnosis had been made.  

__________________________

    Please feel free to send your  information to us  and please be sure to  tell us about any information you believe to be incorrect - write  lel@abingtoncitizens.com

 

 

BROKEN LINKS ALERT  

Abington Township recently completely revamped their website at the end of 2015 . All links directed to the old site were broken. We will be reinstating links as we find them and if the data is still available.  
Please  let us know if you find a broken link . Send us the name of the link and the page it is on , and if we can reinstate it, we will.

 


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