Don’t Spray Me was founded in September 2015 by residents of West Chester PA and surrounding communities to raise awareness about the dangers of pesticides and other chemicals in the environment.
Our logo is a baby in a gas mask (on the right below). Then we introduced our “Happy Baby” signs in 2017 for those who wish to emphasize that in many locations we have in fact not been sprayed (on the left below). Our signs symbolize our desire to protect everyone, particularly the young, who are most vulnerable from the dangers of chemical poisons.
With the support of our mayor at the time, Carolyn Comitta, and our Borough Council, the threatened spraying of Permanone in the northeast section of West Chester borough was avoided in 2015. Our first victory. Borough officials agreed with us that the small risk of West Nile Virus was not worth risking the health of thousands of borough residents and the associated environmental damage, including the killing of bees and other beneficial insects, the poisoning of run off water, and the danger to pets. Our current mayor, Jordan Norley, also supports Don’t Spray Me and has authored a letter that was distributed this summer in the borough.
We are now a group of almost 300 concerned citizens with chapters in West Chester borough, East Bradford, West Goshen and Westtown working in our neighborhoods on these important environmental issues. We have allied ourselves with the regional chapter of Sierra Club and branched out successfully into ending Roundup use by the Borough government. We are also educating citizens through the Sierra Club Youth Corps on killing weeds in sidewalks without toxic chemicals. As part of our focus is on community education, we are cosponsoring an environmental film festival at West Chester University beginning in the fall of 2017.
We are in agreement with the large and growing body of research showing that spraying airborne pesticides for mosquito control poses serious threats to the environment and human health and is the least effective form of mosquito control. We favor non-toxic measures, such as larviciding and reducing mosquito breeding sites by education of residents. We are following the lead of many communities across the nation that have banned spraying for mosquitoes, some more than 15 years ago, with no adverse human health consequences. The resolution in Lyndhurst OH and the plan in Shaker Heights have inspired our work here in Chester County. We are also following the lead of the state of California in warning people about the dangers of RoundUp/glysophate. Young people are interested and involved in all these efforts.
Our signs have been very successful in getting out our message, with about 350 in place across the County during the mosquito season.
We urge all municipalities to examine these issues, to create detailed plans to control mosquitoes without spray, and thus to protect residents and the environment.