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Mosquito-spraying program threatens children

August 08, 2003

Dear Editor:

Would you allow Danville's children to fall unnecessarily in harm's way?

In 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency acted to reduce our exposure to Dursban, saying, "To protect children and public health, EPA and the manufacturer of the pesticide Dursban have agreed to eliminate its use for nearly all household purposes and to move to significantly reduce residues of it on several foods regularly eaten by children."

EPA Administrator Carol Browner described the chemical chlorpyrifos in Dursban as one of the "older, riskier" pesticides. She also said that it can have neurological effects and that we should protect our children from it (see http://www.epa.gov/epahome/headline_0608.htm).

A list of scientific studies showing the dangers from Dursban is available at http://www.bandursban.org/science/studies.shtml. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts84.html) says that, "breathing or ingesting chlorpyrifos may result in a variety of nervous system effects, ranging from headaches, blurred vision, and salivation to seizures, coma, and death, depending on the amount and length of exposure." The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ipcsneng/neng0851.html) says that chlorpyrifos also accumulates in the food chain in products like fish that can pass it on to humans, and that exposure of children and adolescents should be avoided.

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Early Tuesday morning Danville's children march off to school. Late Monday night Dursban will be sprayed widely in Danville, unless you care enough to do something about it. City leaders received complaints about mosquitoes, but what they really care about is you, so share your priorities with them.

David Anderson

Danville

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