Climate Change Makes Me Sick!

Physicians for Social Responsibility, 4/13/16

How does climate change increase Insect-borne diseases?

mosquitoes-postcard Mosquitoes carry infectious pathogens and transmit them to humans via biting. As the Earth warms due to climate change, more regions can potentially support disease-bearing mosquitoes.

The increase in heat and humidity boosts mosquitoes’ reproduction rates, lengthens their breeding season, makes mosquitoes bite more, and speeds the development of the disease-causing agents they carry (bacteria and viruses) to an infectious state….

read more at Physicians for Social Responsibility

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Avoid spraying, prevent mosquito reproduction

By Nathaniel Smith, Columnist, The Times of Chester County, March 28, 2016

If they can’t breed, you don’t need to worry about using pesticides

I recently noticed a newspaper article that is very misleading about the costs and benefits of spraying to control mosquitoes.

The story was much too casual about the use of toxic chemicals in residential properties. It brought out that the insecticides known as pyrethroids, widely used to kill insects, are “EPA approved” but that means, unfortunately, very little. The EPA itself says, among other cautions, that “pyrethroids are toxic to fish and to bees,” and the manufacturers’ instructions are full of warnings as well.

Dangers of spraying pyrethroids

The 256-page Pennsylvania Pesticide Applicator Certification Core Manual points out that, for humans, “Symptoms associated with synthetic pyrethroid insecticides include nausea, dizziness, weakness, nervousness, eye, and skin irritation.”

Pesticide drift is another problem: air-borne spray will not stay within a property line. If I spray my yard with an insecticide, my neighbors may not welcome it drifting onto their organic gardens, their children, and their cats (pyrethroids are toxic to cats)….

read more at The Times of Chester County

Pyrethroids and insect resistance

excerpt from “Pyrethroids: Not as safe as you think” at Melissa Kaplan’s Herp Care Collection, last updated January 1, 2014:

…Some insects have developed ways to detoxify the naturally occurring pyrethrums encountered when feeding on the nectar of feverfew and chrysanthemums, a not uncommon adaptive response. Unfortunately, while insects and plants have had millions of years to work out these survival pathways, we humans haven’t.

An increasing number of insects have developed high levels of resistance to pyrethroids, such as cockroaches, head lice, and tobacco budworm, pear psylla, fall army-worm, German cockroach, spotted tentiform leafminer, diamondback moth, house fly, stable fly, head lice, and tobacco budworm. Many of these species are resistant to more than one pyrethroid. Because insects reproduce – and adapt – far more quickly than do vertebrates, they are far better able to evolve defenses against the toxins we throw at them, resulting in an ever expanding range of poisons developed and thrown into our environment.

Pyrethroids, like all toxins, are indiscriminate: they affect all the organisms who come into contact with them in the air, on plants, on the ground, in the soil, and in the water. While your local grower – or you – may be applying it to deal with a specific pest, the products affect everything around it. And, since particulates are easily airborne, they travel, often great distances, from the actual point of application….

The Neurotoxic Effects of Pyrethroids

“The Neurotoxic Effects of Pyrethroids” is one section of the post by Maryam Henein “When We Fumigate Flies and Mosquitoes, Are We Poisoning Ourselves?” at Truthout, 11 October 2015, beginning:

Upon my return to the United States, my autoimmune condition flared up, and when I visited the doctor, my test results indicated that my thyroid levels had plummeted below normal. I often tell people that those who suffer from autoimmune conditions are environmental indicators just like our honeybees.

Read the full post at Truthout. It ends with consideration (including links) of the effects of pyrethroids on humans and the environment.