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Category: Science


Is Spraying for Zika A Health Risk?

War has been declared against Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, carriers of the dreaded Zika virus. With some pretty solid evidence linking Zika to microcephaly, as well as Guillian-Barre syndrome, governments in affected countries are going all out as they attempt to reduce mosquito populations.

Predictions now anticipate that Zika virus will soon find its way into North America. So the images of trucks fogging neighborhoods in Brazil, that have become so common in the news as this problem worsens, may soon become real-life experiences for Americans in Florida and other southern states.

One of the most commonly used classes of fogging agents to kill adult mosquitoes are the pyrethroids. Though there is a move now to embrace the idea of bringing DDT back into the game, pyrethroids remain pretty much the first line of defense when it comes to fogging infested neighborhoods and homes throughout the Americas.

Pyrethroids are often depicted as being harmless, by virtue of the fact that they are synthetic analogues of an extract of chrysanthemum flowers (of all things), and what could possibly be wrong with that? As it turns out, there’s much that warrants concern.

First, here’s what our own CDC has to say about their safety:

Human health effects from pyrethroid pesticides at low environmental doses or at biomonitored levels from low environmental exposures are unknown.

This statement isn’t referring to an accidental exposure at a high concentration. They’re telling us that even when considering a low level exposure, the health effects are unknown. Think about that next time you see images of homes being fogged.

But here’s what’s even more concerning: In 2014, researchers at the UC-Davis published a study of 970 children living in Northern California, in which they explored possible environmental links to autism. The study looked at exposure of pregnant women to commonly used commercial pesticides by looking at how close they lived to farms spraying these chemicals during their pregnancy.

The researchers specifically evaluated risk of autism in relation to exposure to pyrethroids, yes, the same pesticide now being used to carpet bomb Zika-carrying mosquitos. The study shows that exposure of mothers to pyrethroids during the third trimester of pregnancy was associated with an 87% increased risk of autism for their child.

In the field of medicine, we are schooled to evaluate any intervention by considering its risk/benefit ratio. So far, it looks like the benefit employing pyrethroids with the hope of possibly getting a leg up on Zika virus infections is getting the most attention. Prudence dictates that we consider potential risks as well following the dictum of “above all, do no harm.”

  • KarenS

    What I have read is that not all the women that have microencephaly had the Zika virus or did the babies in them. Also Zika has been around for a long time with out any microencephaly coming up. What did change is a pesticide that was being sprayed a few months earlier close to where all these babies were born and all the women were exposed to this pesticide in some way. Of course the pharma making the pesticide would not like its product to have the finger pointed at them. It makes more money if another vector can be blamed so that shots can be developed for mass shots against it.

    • tamarque

      The elephant in the room is vaccines. In Brazil there was a vaccine assault just months before the rise of the encephaly cases.We know there was vaccine campaign in the region of these cases, however, we have no idea what was in these drugs. Remember that vaccines are designed to be carriers of all kinds of unnamed ingredients.

      • ohneclue@yahoo.com

        I understand that Brazil is also the world’s biggest user of Roundup which makes me think this might have a relationship to the microcephaly that has NOT been present in Africa where the Zika first started along with Dengue and its other relatives and been around for some 70-80 years.

        • tamarque

          Yes. A big pesticide issue and the nurses in that section of Brazil noted that, too. But let’s face it, anytime someone sneezes twice there are the drug corporations carrying on about a new dangerous virus for which they just happened to have a new and untested vaccine just about ready to go. And now we have Monsanto creating GMO mosquitoes to release willy nilly over large populations with no mention of any concern for the people who may get bit by these newly created insects. Shades of Nazi experiments on people. This was deemed criminal as part of international law and American law for that matter.

          • ohneclue@yahoo.com

            I put a lot more of my faith in the cause is pesticides rather than vaccines. The shear math of 70-80 years of zika with NO microcephaly fro Africa where it started to Europe to the rest of the world over those multiple years along with its virual cousins UNTIL Brazil came up as the world’s #1 user of glyphosate and THEN #1 microcephaly says it all to me. My brother, years ago, used Roundup on some plants in his back yard and his two dogs were curious about the rotten cabbage smell of the 2,4,5 D and a week later, they were dead.

          • tamarque

            I recall seeing a documentary on GMOs where cows could no longer get up. Their legs just crumbled underneath them. It was pitiful to watch. Of course we have the Seralini, et al longitudinal study that demonstrated the horrific consequences to the same rat strain that Monsanto used. The list of real life examples and studies is growing very long but the FDA only looks at studies by the very people that make and sell the billions of pounds of this poison. Same for the vaccines foisted on people. Both drugs are neurotoxins.

            But critically there were virtually no cases of encephalitis of babies with Zika virus and that blows the whole fearmongering mythology apart.

          • ohneclue@yahoo.com

            Can we say FDA is a bought and paid for? Never has met a conglomerate it didn’t like to protect. Monsanto has its black hand all over the world. I admire the countries that have denied its use in and on their lands.

          • tamarque

            Yes, We Can!!!!! I think the FDA is the one agency where we find most transparency as it has a slew of whistle blowers and the cast of characters moving betw industry and govt is most apparent. Of course we see directly the lack of meaningful oversight of the agency and its totally pro-industry decisions. Further, we humans are most directly affected by the decisions of this agency as it is our body that is so assaulted by them. The USDA and CDC run close seconds.

          • ohneclue@yahoo.com

            Okay and how many more YEARS do you want to wait for them to start putting us FIRST? I’m 76 and I’ve been through the Lipitor/Crestor stuff when they didn’t realize females reacted differently than males so 16 years ago MY A1c went from 6.l to 11.3 in 2 weeks! That was reported directly to the FDA by my endocrinologist because I was a test subject. Yeah, they’re really on our side. They have a bad history of letting their insiders take bribes from companies trying to keep other companies out of the market place and/or get into the market place supplanting the previous products, etc., etc., etc. I agree the USDA and CDC are culpable also.

          • tamarque

            Personally? I have no patience at all with the Powers-that-be. I have railed against them since very young, which I no longer am. We have a trade called the medical industry. It formed and developed strictly as a marriage between the drug corporations and the trade practitioners, the first funding, developing and controlling the practitioners. The practitioners thought, delusionally, for decades they were an independent profession. Daylight was very harsh on their vision and many began to leave the trade, oftimes for holistic protocols. The masters, the drug corporations base themselves on creating patented drugs to reap the biggest profits. They build the medical schools, create the curriculum, monitor it by placing their people in the schools weekly via their social networking sessions where the students are socialized into how to be ‘proper’ practitioners, and pay these willing subjects quite handsomely to sign onto drug corporation written articles and to be speakers on behalf of the drug to their trade cohorts. It functions as a closed loop system where the practitioners never question the date and information given them. The drugs are never seriously tested and studies are cherry picked along with the date included in them to push the drugs onto market asap. So there you were with statin drugs that cause heart disease, low cholesterol standards that cause cell wall collapse and other disease making conditions. Remember HRT? That was a very lucrative fiasco for about 20? years. And you are old enough to remember thalidomide babies. Of course we are not fed media coverage about the bogus polio vaccine containing carcinogens. Oh, whoops was Hilliard’s response when this was discovered.
            Formaldehyde, a carcinogen, and neurotoxins in vaccines pumped into babies as soon as possible in their undeveloped lives. And here we are with autism rates going from 1:10,0000 in 1990 to 1:55 today. All those destroyed and stressed families, all those dysfunctional people and heartache! No I am not patient at all and I stay the heck away from that industry like the plague and recommend that everyone else do, too.

          • ohneclue@yahoo.com

            Now I’m depressed. HRT? Yes and now that men get the Little Blue Pill paid for by Medicare guess who has more infections of a GYN nature? Their wives and girlfriends! YAY for little blue pills!!

          • tamarque

            Well now you have given me something else to add to my list of why I hate the medical industry list. We just need to get louder and talk in more places.

          • Harald Meling

            Thank you!

  • anya

    How do pyrethroids affect the human microbiome?

    • Exactly. Sayer Ji addresses it on GreenMedInfo

  • Prairie Flower

    Alsi to be co sidered should be the effect of wholesale spraying on the populations of bebeficial insects, inckuding bees and butterflies.in the last month i have received three ov e rsize glossh postcards touting the availability of commercial spraying of my yard….every 21 days, the entire yard would be fogged. I live in the kansas city area, not exactly a hotbrd of mosquito activity, although we do have them in the summer. And, I have a pollinator friendly garden. Too bad commercial applicators are preying on the (overblown) fears of the locals. The environmental impacts could be vast.

  • Prairie Flower

    Sorry for the typos….stupid tiny keypad

  • AJ

    Sometimes I wonder if health challenges I’ve had in my life, MS and thyroid cancer, didn’t come from running in the fog of the mosquito truck when I was a kid.

  • Janet

    I had a small, organic garden and several herb plants. Thanks to the mosquito fogging in my neighborhood, I have decided it is not in my best interest to continue my garden. Sad. I think I should be able to decide whether or not I want my entire yard poisoned or not. With fogging, you have no say – it goes everywhere.

    • It’s terrifying and it angers me. What about out rights to breathing fresh air? I am really sorry to hear this..where do you live?

  • Emmalee

    DDT coming back. Silent Spring bad enough the first time.

  • Amar

    do you have a better alternative?

    • “common sense” in a good alternative, so start with excluding pesticides that have known dangers.
      The alternative that I recommend is optimal health, since people with optimal health catch much less diseases, from Alzheimer to flu.

  • Martina

    I live in Tasmania, Australia now but when I was pregnant with my son who is 21 this month and until he was 18 months old, we lived in Navarre Florida in a new homes area that was built on reclaimed swamp. Without warning a truck would go around the development past our home and pump huge clouds of pesticides into the air, this was a common occurrence. I would leave the house for a few hours but had to eventually return home, my son was born with high functioning autism and I have always believed that this may have been a possible trigger for his condition.

    • steve5960 .

      yesterday on KDKA tv there was a story stating; autisum rates are higher in neighborhoods that spray for mosquitoes…
      also from anoter source, women in their first trimester that used flea wash on thier pet had higher rates of autisum.

  • steve5960 .

    Aerial spraying to kill mosquitoes linked to 25% increase in autism, finds shock study by American Academy of Pediatrics

    Aerial spraying of pesticides to kill mosquitoes, may be linked to an increase in autism spectrum disorder and development delays in children, according to a study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies on Saturday, April 30.

    While health authorities have increasingly encouraged pesticide spraying to combat mosquitoes carrying a birth defect-inducing virus, new research suggests that the chemical application may actually be causing birth defects.

    Scientists reached their findings after they observed a 25 percent increase in autism and developmental disorders among children living in areas where aerial spraying for mosquitoes has been used since 2003, according to the study, titled “Aerial Pesticide Exposure Increases the Risk of Developmental Delay and Autism Spectrum Disorder.”

    Researchers “identified a swampy region in central New York where health officials use airplanes to spray pyrethroid pesticides each summer. The pesticides target mosquitos [sic] that carry the eastern equine encephalitis virus, which can cause swelling of the brain and spinal cord,” reports the American Academy of Pediatrics.

    Pyrethroids, synthetic chemicals used to kill flea and tics, may be linked to autism

    “They found that children living in ZIP codes in which aerial pesticide spraying has taken place each summer since 2003 were approximately 25 percent more likely to have an autism diagnosis or documented developmental delay compared to those in ZIP codes with other methods of pesticide distribution, such as manually spreading granules or using hoses or controlled droplet applicators.”

    Pyrethroids are manmade chemicals that structurally resemble pyrethrum, a naturally occurring toxin found in certain chrysanthemum flowers, discovered to have insecticidal properties in the 1800s, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry. Pyrethroids are more toxic to insects and mammals, and persist longer in the environment, than pyrethrum.

    Children exposed to large amounts of pyrethroids may experience dizziness, headaches and nausea, as well as other more serious side-effects, including tremors, convulsions and loss of consciousness. The side-effects in adults are similar.

    ATSDR says that there is no evidence that pyrethroids cause birth defects, however, animal studies have shown that the chemicals may harm the developing brain in “very young animals.”

    Why aerial spraying for mosquitoes is ineffective and a threat to public health

    The study results validate existing health concerns regarding aerial spraying, one of the more dangerous methods of chemical application due to the possibility of pesticide drift, which occurs when the wind carries potentially harmful chemicals beyond the intended target.

    Aside from the potential health effects, some say aerial spraying is the least effective method of controlling mosquitoes. Experts say that aerial spraying or fogging eliminates only 10 percent of adult mosquitoes, according to the Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia, a nonprofit established in 1985.

    Because they’re further up the food chain, mosquito predators can be harmed more by aerial spraying than the insects themselves, thus increasing mosquito populations, it adds. “Data from a study in New York State published in the Journal for Mosquito Control found that after 11 years of insecticide spraying, the mosquito population had increased 15 times.”

    Aerial spraying may also contribute to pesticide resistance in mosquitoes.

    Using aerial spraying to kill mosquitoes carrying harmful viruses may be more harmful than the virus itself, says EHANS. Dozens of prominent scientists and physicians from Quebec warned in a letter more than decade ago that:

    Indiscriminate spraying of pesticides, especially in heavily populated urban areas, is far more dangerous to human health and the natural environment than a relatively small risk of West Nile Virus … Ironically, such spraying is especially dangerous to those with impaired immunity for whose ‘protection’ such spraying is mainly being done. ..Those individuals who are most vulnerable in this chemical action against mosquitoes include children, pregnant women, the elderly, chemically sensitive and immuno-suppressed individuals, such as patients with AIDS and cancer, and people suffering with asthma and other allergies.

    Mounting research ties autism to pesticide exposure

    Scientists with AAP recognize that their findings build on existing research linking pesticides to autism. “Other studies have already shown that pesticide exposure might increase a child’s risk for autism spectrum disorder or developmental delay,” said study author Steven Hicks, MD PhD.

    “Our findings show that the way pesticides are distributed may change that risk. Preventing mosquito-borne encephalitis is an important task for public health departments. Communities that have pesticide programs to help control the mosquito population might consider ways to reduce child pesticide exposure, including alternative application methods.”

    Many pesticides are also endocrine mimickers, meaning that they mimic sex hormones in the body and affect an array of processes, including reproductive development. The correlation between endocrine mimickers and autism is documented in Helke Ferrie’s book Dispatches From the War Zone of Environmental Health, which reads as follows:

    Colborn said, “these endocrine disrupters are trans-generational”, meaning that they cross the placenta, affecting fetal development in many different ways, ranging from retardation to autism and learning and behavioral problems.

    Endocrine disrupters also affect genetically mediated timetables, so that cancers or infertility develop later in life.

    U.S. oceanographer, Dr. Douglas Seba, who addressed the 34th annual conference of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine in Idaho held this year in October, told me that birth defects, infertility problems, and malformations of sex organs in wildlife have dramatically increased, primarily because of a potato pesticide, chlorothalonil.

    He described consensus-based research that correlates planetary wind and rain patterns (which transport these pesticides in the far westwards) with the epidemiological patterns of thyroid problems, kidney failure, hypertension, and birth defects in humans and animals.

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/053881_aerial_spraying_autism_mosquitoes.html#ixzz47b0l1nlo

  • Pingback: Is Spraying for Zika A Health Risk? – Guilt Free Reviews()

  • truleeo

    Yes, apparently Brazil started vaccination all the pregnant women at 22 weeks gestation in May 2015. These babies started being born at the same time the microcephaly appeared.
    Blame a mosquito instead, then maybe develop another vaccine for that??? God help us.

  • xileen worcester

    We live in a very wooded area next to a reservoir and the mosquitos and bugs in general were miserable until we installed some electric bug lights on our property. The bug lights are about a foot long with an open grate that harbors a purple neon type light and when turned on they zap bugs constantly. They are hung like a lantern, at about 8 feet off the ground. Mosquitos are usually territorial so once you start to wipe them out, there are less breeders around. It takes about three years to clear out a wooded area to the point where you can sit outside in the evening without being too bothered by them.

  • Harald Meling

    Mr Perlmutter!
    What is your take on what is mentioned here with regard to the zikahype and the implications it could yield, and probaly is yielding; a cover for a vaccination program gone off the tracks?

    And moreover, what about the everyday fraud we see do happen in the medical community?
    Is here a connection to a deliberately make people sick with autism, allergies, asthma and other AD?


  • Sally

    Sayer Ji weighed in on Zika some time ago in his GreenMed blog. He presents a totally different story from what we hear in the press. The story is closer to what KarenS says below, as I recall.

  • Keys Man 70

    So pregnant women are screw either way.

  • Sue

    I was interested in reading the study until I came to the end and found this disclosure:

    Erratum: “Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Prenatal Residential Proximity to Agricultural Pesticides: The CHARGE Study”

    In “Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Prenatal Residential Proximity to Agricultural Pesticides: The CHARGE Study” by Shelton et al. [Environ Health Perspect 122:1103–1109 (2014); doi:10.1289/ehp.1307044], the following disclaimer was inadvertently omitted from the Competing Financial Interest Declaration:

    D.J.T., R.J.S., R.L.H., and I.H.-P. have received travel reimbursements and grant support from Autism Speaks, an autism advocacy group. Further, the authors state that their freedom to design, conduct, interpret, and publish research is not compromised by any controlling sponsor as a condition of review and publication.

    The authors regret the error.


  • Pam Driscoll

    I’m wondering if these insecticides are killing or harming our already threatened pollinators. It seems a good idea for women to delay pregnancy until this threat is gone. Adoption is a good alternative, ladies. We need less humans and more diversity of species, including our bees, birds and butterflies!

  • Todd Perry

    –Brazil admits Zika is not causing birth defects
    –New study finds no cases of microcephaly among pregnant women infected with Zika The study observed 12,000 pregnant women living in Colombia infected with the
    virus, and none of them gave birth to a baby with microcephaly.

    since the US government can not get Americans to take intentionally
    poison laced vaccines that also cause the out breaks they are supposed
    to stop now they have to come up with new ways to poison the population
    and it seems Zika was the perfect patsy.

    If you do the research
    on the pesticides they are spaying on the population you WILL find that
    it does cause these birth defects, paralysis and other health issues
    that they are blaming on Zika.
    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/055293_Zika_virus_birth_defects_profits.html#ixzz4KScDGYaP

  • Brightcluster

    Beware the spray is the cause.

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