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Pesticide Spraying in Bucks, Montgomery, Phildadelphia, Delaware Counties

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECOMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Aug. 25, 2008Department of Environmental Protection
Department of Health
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120

CONTACT:Deborah Fries (DEP)
(484) 250-5808

Holli Senior (Health)
(717) 787-1783

DEP TO CONDUCT AERIAL MOSQUITO TREATMENTS TO STEM WEST NILE VIRUS IN SOUTHEASTERN COUNTIES Sprayings Set for Tuesday, Wednesday Nights

NORRISTOWN – To protect the public against mosquito-borne West Nile virus, the Department of Environmental Protection will conduct targeted aerial sprayings between 8 p.m. and midnight on Tuesday, Aug. 26 and Wednesday, Aug. 27, in portions of Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.
Certain mosquito species carry the West Nile virus, which, when transmitted to people, can cause West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain. One human case of the West Nile virus has been confirmed this year in a 27-year-old Montgomery County woman.
“The West Nile infection rates we’ve detected among mosquitoes this summer are the highest we’ve seen in nine years,” said Joseph A. Feola, the department’s southeast regional director. “Typically, we see the transmission rates of the virus from mosquitoes to humans reach its highest levels in mid- to late-August, which makes it imperative for us to act now.”
Feola noted aerial treatments are recommended when five out of every 1,000 mosquitoes tests positive for the virus. Infection rates in the targeted areas all exceed the aerial treatment recommendation threshold or have a significant population of mosquito species that could become infected.
The decision to apply treatments from the air was made in consultation with county West Nile virus program coordinators, the Department of Health, and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Weather permitting, residents in the targeted areas can expect to see low-flying airplanes that will spray Resmethrin, a synthetic pyrethroid product, at the rate of .0035 pounds per acre, or an amount equal to one-third of a teaspoon. The spray rate is half of the amount approved for safe application by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and should have no adverse effects to ornamental ponds or plant life.
While Resmethrin is considered safe with little risk of toxicity, the Department of Health recommends some basic steps the public may take to reduce possible exposure to it:
•Children and pregnant women should take care to avoid exposure when practical. If possible, remain inside or avoid the area whenever spraying takes place and for about thirty minutes after spraying. That time period will greatly reduce the likelihood of your breathing pesticide in air.
•Close windows and doors and turn off window air-conditioning units or close their vents to circulate indoor air before spraying begins. Windows and air-conditioner vents can be reopened about 30 minutes after spraying.
•Anyone experiencing adverse reactions to pesticides should seek medical care or call the Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222.

DEP will report on all spraying activities and will make the latest information available at www.westnile.state.pa.us. The public may also call 484-250-5824 for a recorded message that details upcoming aerial spraying events. The recorded message will be updated daily and will be available through the end of this week.
The best way to control mosquitoes is still to get rid of standing water on your property. Tips for eliminating mosquito-breeding areas are available at www.westnile.state.pa.us.
###

EDITOR’S NOTE: Aerial treatments will be provided in the following townships and zip codes from 8 p.m. to midnight on Tuesday, Aug. 26 and Wednesday, Aug. 27.


Bucks County
Wrightstown Township
Newtown Township
Northampton Township
Warminster Township
Middletown Township
Falls Township
Upper Southampton Township
Langhorne Borough
Lower Southampton Township
Bristol Township
Langhorne Manor Borough
Penndel Borough
Tullytown Borough
Bensalem Township
Hulmeville Borough
Bristol Borough

Delaware County
Radnor Township
Newtown Township
Haverford Township
Marple Township
Upper Darby Township
Millbourne Borough
Springfield Township
Lansdowne Borough
East Lansdowne Borough
Yeadon Borough
Clifton Heights Borough
Upper Darby Township
Aldan Borough
Darby Borough
Collingdale Borough
Colwyn Borough
Darby Township
Sharon Hill Borough
Folcroft Borough
Darby Township

Montgomery County
Upper Moreland Township
Hatfield Borough
East Norriton Township
Lower Moreland Township
Bryn Athyn Borough
Abington Township
West Norriton Township
Whitemarsh Township
Plymouth Township
Norristown Borough
Upper Merion Township
Bridgeport Borough
Conshohocken Borough
Rock Ledge Borough
West Conshohocken Borough
Lower Merion Township
Narberth Borough

Philadelphia County ZIP codes
19111
19114
19115
19142
19153
19131
19136

Please close your windows, bring in your pets, and go pick your tomatoes today!

Aven
post #2 of 23
Yikes! Thanks for the heads up. Off to spread the word!
post #3 of 23
Well dh came home from work and said he heard about it on KYW this morning. Not that he mentioned it to me .

I posted on all my yahoo groups and have gotten several "Thanks so much. I had no idea!" replies. So I'm passing those thanks on to you, Aven .
post #4 of 23
Okay, I have a lot of questions about this. First of all, I'm angry I didn't hear about this until 9 pm tonight. All our windows were open, our cat was outside. We weren't home, we were outdoors playing somewhere that could have been sprayed.

So what about my organic garden?
What about my outdoor cat?
What about if my kids want to go roll in the grass in the morning?
If we and our neighbors didn't hear or see any planes either night does that mean we didn't get sprayed? Or could the spraying blow from far enough away that we wouldn't know?

What is safe, and why weren't we told in some official form rather than phone calls from neighbors and a lot of emails from scared people?

Does anyone have real trustworthy info about this?
post #5 of 23
Wow...
Thanks so much....
I just checked out the 'official' link posted up there...
Not too happy about it...

Wanted to add... Thursday, August 28, 2008 is listed as the rain date, if necessary.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blue heron View Post
Okay, I have a lot of questions about this. First of all, I'm angry I didn't hear about this until 9 pm tonight. All our windows were open, our cat was outside. We weren't home, we were outdoors playing somewhere that could have been sprayed.

So what about my organic garden?
What about my outdoor cat?
What about if my kids want to go roll in the grass in the morning?
If we and our neighbors didn't hear or see any planes either night does that mean we didn't get sprayed? Or could the spraying blow from far enough away that we wouldn't know?

What is safe, and why weren't we told in some official form rather than phone calls from neighbors and a lot of emails from scared people?

Does anyone have real trustworthy info about this?
More than I am mad about the pesticides, I'm mad about the lack of proper communication about this.

I'm REALLY hoping that because it was done at night, it won't affect any honey bees.

Aven
post #7 of 23
A link with info about resmethrin: http://extoxnet.orst.edu/pips/resmethr.htm

Highly toxic to bees.

Blue heron, yeah, I'm pretty upset that I almost didn't hear about this. Usually our strong whole house fan is on and that sucks the outside air right in. I don't know why there wasn't more info put out. Dh heard a blurb on KYW but didn't think it sounded like anything to worry about. I guess they said to stay in if you were a baby or pregnant. We didn't hear a plane either but were sleeping with a sound machine. Could be they did some areas last night and will do the rest tonight.
post #8 of 23
We are beyond upset about this. There was absolutely NO communication about it from the people involved. I found out too late from an email list that I'm on. Yep, my windows were open. My kids were probably outside with their dad after 8PM (didn't look at the clock when they came in...)
:
post #9 of 23
Someone on one of my lists posted she heard the planes in Upper Darby and police had some intersections closed off. That's very close to me so they probably got us last night, too.
post #10 of 23
I live in Haverford Township, Delaware County. I saw and heard the planes (because I was outside! and clueless!) about 5-6 times last night. I wrote my Ward Commissioner and he apparently is upset, too, because he had no idea it was going to happen, and was told by the county that they were not doing our area---???? I find that a little hard to believe. The planes were flying so low.
This is frustrating.
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Here is an updated map of what got sprayed last night, and what's getting sprayed tonight. Typo, though: where it says "treated 8/27" should read "treated 8/26".

The state did a terrible job of alerting us, but we can still be proactive about spreading this information if you're in the 'yet to be done' areas. Use this opportunity to meet more of your neighbors!

Aven
post #12 of 23
I don't trust the map 100%, though. I'm along the Philadelphia border where they plan to spray tonight, although they say they are done with Delaware County except Radnor Township (if memory serves). I think parts of Sharon Hill, Colwyn, Darby, and Yeadon might get hit tonight since they are just on the border of tonight's Philadelphia target. Areas of Upper Darby along the border could be at risk, too. Could be they are going to go up the Cobbs Creek Parkway to Bala Cynwyd and Montgomery County. I think it said Fairmont Park and some other park in the northeast? I feel like the zip codes they listed didn't completely correspond with the map but I didn't check super carefully and it is unclear exactly where the parameters of a zip code end on google. And the zip codes might not be apparent from the air, either.
post #13 of 23
And... I was right. They are doing us tonight despite saying they were done with Delaware county except Radnor Township. :
post #14 of 23
GRRRRRR! We aren't in a spray area, though we're east of the big area and up on the eleventh floor, so I'm thinking we got a snootful of the stuff last night with our window fans on.

And that's just extra nice that it's toxic to bees. Extra nice.

So other than getting on the news update email list, what can I do? Who exactly do I need to be yelling at here about the crap job they've done informing the public?
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
CONTACT: Deborah Fries (DEP)
(484) 250-5808

Holli Senior (Health)
(717) 787-1783
I haven't tried calling either, but maybe I will.

Also, the email that was forwarded to me was originally from:
Quote:
Eleanor Vine, Community Environmental Coordinator

Montgomery County Health Department
1430 DeKalb Street
P.O. Box 311
Norristown, PA 19404-0311
(p) 610-278-5117, x6714
(f) 610-278-5167
That might work if you're in Montgomery County.

I saw a large praying mantis just outside my backdoor late afternoon. I was tempted to bring it inside for the evening, but it was maybe guarding some eggs (either eggs it laid, or eggs it was about to eat?!?), so I left it. We'll see how it does in the morning.

I've been listening to the planes all evening. It's sort of creepy, knowing that it would be toxic to go outside.

Aven
post #16 of 23
I am so ticked off. They probably did this last minute warning so as not to give people enough time to complain and speak up about not wanting chemicals sprayed all over their business. Supposedly, my area isn't being done by these planes, but I don't trust them one bit. I don't think that map is entirely accurate, either. One list says Hatfield township will be done, but it the map says it isn't so.
This is more warning than was iven a month ago. I was driving through Franconia behind a construction truck with a sign that said "shoulder spraying." I thought they were painting lines or something. A minute later, another truck start spraying out the pesiticide along the side of the road. You should have seen the way the cars were veering off the road to avoid the spray cloud. It was a gorgeous day and many people had their windows down.
I know this pesticide is relatively low on the danger scale, but it's still a toxic chemical. Our bees have taken a big enough hit in the last few years and they don't need anything else hitting them. Saying that bees won't "be out foraging" is a joke...they'll still be around and at risk. And I bet you have a bigger risk of getting sick from the pesiticide spraying than from WNV. :
post #17 of 23
We're in Philadelphia City. (But prevailing winds would bring everything in MontCo right to our window. I can gauge them by the plume on the Sunoco smokestack! :0)

I haven't heard any unusual air traffic, but we get a lot of police and hospital copters, and a few smaller craft for the airport. Maybe it'll miss us.

I'll be calling the DEP in the morning.
post #18 of 23
Oh, and the shoulder spraying? A lot of the time that's an herbicide, a defoliant -- notice how all the plants are shriveled and yellow within 5 feet of the road?
post #19 of 23
A friend called those numbers to complain and was told that the state informed the counties, and the counties were to inform the townships/boroughs, etc and they were to inform their residents. Which didn't happen where I live.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenMamaJen View Post
A friend called those numbers to complain and was told that the state informed the counties, and the counties were to inform the townships/boroughs, etc and they were to inform their residents. Which didn't happen where I live.
My township got the email Monday 1:00 pm. I'm not sure the township's at fault - there's no standard means of alerting the public at such short notice. Our township people put notices at the post office, emailed as many as they could. However... could we have expected them to have been able to organize a mailing on Monday afternoon/Tuesday? Could they have printed many copies, and simply handed them to the local mailmen and said put one in each box? Is that legal for local governments to use the federal postal system like that? Would the township have had time to put a notice in each persons box by hand themselves?

Why did the state feel the need to act on such short notice? A woman in MontCo was diagnosed with WNV on 7/22, over a month ago. Why, suddenly, did they have to spray without due notice? Was the surge in WNV in mosquitos so severe that the possible risk of WNV to humans outweighed the risks of the pesticides? I doubt it. But I do wonder what their reasoning was. I really hope that they didn't do it quickly thinking they'd avoid hearing complaints.

Ugh.
Aven
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