Press Conference on Mosquito Pesticide Spraying in SLC
On Wednesday, April 14, we held a virtual press conference to discus our recently published report on the Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District (SLCMAD)’s strategy for mosquito control. Watch the press conference here and read the full report here.
In summary, their strategy is badly outdated, scientifically flawed, and represents a chronic and recurring hazard to the health of residents in the Salt Lake Valley. We are calling on them to stop pesticide spraying for mosquitoes.
Read coverage from the press conference from KSL News, ABC4 News, and in Deseret News.
Ignoring nearly all the medical research, the SLCMAD leans almost exclusively on “EPA approval” of the chemicals they use to justify their pesticide spraying program. If you have not yet taken 30 minutes to watch UPHE’s presentation on pesticide spraying for mosquitoes, we urge you to do that while it’s still available.
The SLC Mosquito Abatement District has released a response, and it is extremely thin on science and somewhat contradictory to their previous claims. We will address that formally in the near future.
For now, we urge everyone to make an official request of the abatement district in your area (there are 18 of them) that your property be declared a “no spray zone.” Spraying operations are supposed to stay 300 ft. away from those zones. This is especially important for families with young children and pregnant mothers.
For now we urge everyone to make an official request of the abatement district in your area (there are 18 of them), that your property be declared a “no spray zone.” Spraying operations are supposed to stay 300 ft. away from those zones. This is especially important for families with young children and pregnant mothers.
Read an excerpt from our report on Mosquito Pesticide Spraying in SLC:
SLCMAD states it was created in 1923 to “protect Salt Lake City residents from the large numbers of these pestiferous mosquitoes.” The district seems to be using a mandate that is nearly 100 years old as part of their justification for their spraying strategy. Obviously much has changed in the last 100 years. This mandate, and the mere continued presence of mosquitoes in their natural habitat in the Northwest Quadrant does not justify pesticide spraying.
In February UPHE became alarmed after learning the SLCMAD was proposing to invoke the US Air Force in launching aerial spraying over the Northwest Quadrant. That proposal was withdrawn after widespread public opposition. However, UPHE has learned that the district has conducted a massive aerial spraying of pesticides using private planes, every year for decades over much of the Northwest Quadrant and intends to continue that, despite the fact that by their own admission it is no longer effective. Infants, children, and pregnant mothers on the West side, North Salt Lake, and West Bountiful are being exposed to pesticides that are proven hazardous to public health, and to young brain development in particular, without any offsetting benefit. In fact, pesticides have lost their effectiveness in controlling mosquitoes and in suppressing the already declining case numbers of West Nile Virus.
Dr. Brian Moench, UPHE Founder and President and the participating physicians will explain their request, driven by medical science. According to Dr. Moench, President and Founder of UPHE, “Aerial spraying of toxic pesticides in a vain attempt to control mosquitoes is not protecting public health. The practice is an institutionalized relic of the 1950s just like atmospheric nuclear bomb testing. In fact there is significant overlap between the disease potential of pesticides and radiation. The public should look at this as yet another way that Utah families are becoming downwinder victims of poor public policy.” “Claims of pesticide safety use faulty logic and faulty science. It’s been 60 years since Rachael Carson published Silent Spring and still government agencies in Utah are putting deadly chemicals in our environment with little to no thought about the cumulative negative impact of these chemicals on our communities or the poor efficacy of the practice,” said Dr. Courtney Henley, UPHE board member.Read the full report here.
The scientific and empirical evidence is overwhelming that spraying adulticides to kill mosquitoes, especially aerial spraying, is ineffective, and can be even counterproductive, over the long term, and even the short term, to both goals of controlling mosquito populations and preventing West Nile Virus. Furthermore, the medical literature strongly indicates that routine aerial spraying over Salt Lake City’s airshed represents a broad-based danger to public health. Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment (UPHE) implore SLCMAD to end all of their insecticide spraying for mosquitoes, whether from back packs, trucks, or airplanes. This practice should be stopped immediately.Read the full report here.