Letter: Questions For County On Mosquito Spraying

On June 12, the Palm Beach Post published a Miami Herald article citing a University of Michigan study warning of the dangers of using Naled to spray for mosquitoes. The same day this article ran, I received an e-mail notice regarding the county’s intent to conduct aerial spraying for mosquitoes on June 13, beginning at sundown. The e-mail notice provides no mention of the chemicals that will be sprayed or any precautions to take to avoid the chemicals that are to be sprayed. The notice published in the paper is equally vague. I sent a request to the Palm Beach County Public Affairs Department and the Environmental Resource Management Mosquito Control Division to request the names of the chemicals to be sprayed and have received no reply or acknowledgment of my request.

Last year, the Palm Beach Post reported that the county has routinely sprayed the western communities with the insecticide Naled for many years. This is a highly populated area. Is the county continuing the practice of aerial spraying Naled for mosquito control in the western communities? Since I questioned this practice by letters to the editors of the Palm Beach Post and the Town-Crier in September 2016, the county’s web site has been scrubbed of all references to Naled. Does this mean that the county no longer uses Naled for aerial spraying for mosquitoes? Furthermore, there is no longer any mention of the type or names of chemicals or insecticides that are used by the county for aerial mosquito spraying on the county web site. This information should be easily accessible to the public so we can protect ourselves from exposure or be able to file objections if necessary.

While I understand that a high mosquito population can pose health concerns, the unintended consequences of aerial sprayed chemicals and pesticides such as Naled may pose a greater risk to the population living in the area. In the interest of public safety and transparency, I urge the county to put an immediate hold on all aerial spraying for mosquito control until the safety concerns of Naled or any other chemicals used for aerial spraying in Palm Beach County are fully disclosed to the public and addressed.

Anne Kuhl, The Acreage