Boston Drops Anvil on Mosquitos

Published June 5, 2007

Dear Editor:

The May 29 article by Maria Cramer, “Mosquito Spraying Begins Again,” made no reference to the public health threat caused by over-zealous environmentalists.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) released a report in 2004 that examines this phenomenon, “Pesticides and the West Nile Virus: An Examination of the Environmentalist Claims.” Ms. Cramer’s article recounts the use of the man-made pesticide “anvil” to be sprayed to control mosquitoes in Boston to address the mosquito-borne EEE virus. According to CEI, a local Web site called No Spray posted the following charges: “Anvil, the synthetic pyrethroid nerve gas sprayed from trucks in 2000, is known to cause asthma, disruption of sexual hormones and various other health disorders, and has been linked to breast cancer in women and diminished sperm counts in men.”

This scary rhetoric belies the fact that there was no indiscriminate “spraying from trucks” of massive amounts of anvil. Instead, there was merely “ultra-low volume” spraying applications which, according to CEI, amounted to only two or three ounces per acre.

Dr. Donald Roberts, professor of public health at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, states, “The practices of environmental advocacy groups are seriously degrading public health capabilities in the United States. Our public health threats are real, and growing,”

Citizens of Boston should resist environmental rhetoric that exposes our own children to untold risks while allegedly protecting other species.

Ralph W. Conner ([email protected]) is the local legislation manager for The Heartland Institute.