Letter: County Is Aerial Spraying Naled On Our Area

Why is it that other South Florida counties and cities are cautiously weighing the risks of using the Naled pesticide to combat Zika, while the Palm Beach County commissioners and administration are allowing Robert Robbins, the director of Environmental Resource Management and his Division of Mosquito Control, to routinely aerial spray Naled on the western communities?

There have been a lot of protests and controversy in the news regarding the recent aerial spraying of Naled over the City of Miami Beach. The Miami Beach area has been reported to have found mosquitoes that tested positive for Zika. It also appears that the decision was to spray only specific areas twice. Broward County is conducting aerial spraying of a biological, VectoBac WDG, to combat Zika, which they say is safe and can also be used to spray for pests in organic farming. Broward County chose this option, while Palm Beach County chose to spray us with Naled every time they aerial spray. How long has the county been doing this? Who decided to use Naled, and why was the public not part of the decision?

What logic did the county use to determine which communities to aerial spray with Naled? Per Mosquito Control’s FAQ sheet on chemical treatments, the chemicals used on the ground in other areas of the county are more natural choices, while Naled is the choice for aerial spraying, which only occurs in the western communities. According to an Aug. 22 Palm Beach County Mosquito Control press release, “the coverage area (for aerial spraying conducted last month) of approximately 162,000 acres will target west of State Road 7 including Jupiter Farms, Caloosa, Loxahatchee, The Acreage, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington and the Glades.” Why choose to use Naled pesticides only west of State Road 7 and only the communities mentioned, when the aerial spraying coverage was previously all areas west of Military Trail? When did the target area for aerial spraying change and why?

As for notifying the public of the dangers and precautions required for Naled aerial spraying, the county has failed miserably. People need to be removed from office, fired and prosecuted for reckless endangerment of the public and the environment.

Anne Kuhl, The Acreage