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WHY NOT USE
MINIMUM RISK PESTICIDES?

Every day there is a story about some chemical being sprayed on a park or athletic field or neighborhood and the people living in the area protesting and opposing the spraying. Unfortunately too often the government or agency spraying this product does not follow the wishes of the actual persons affected and so the spraying goes on because, we are told, there are imminent health risks or the danger of infestation is so great that all insects in the region must be killed. Occasionally a mayor or agency head reads the label and realizes the extent of the possible danger and calls off the spraying, as recently occurred at the Village of Lake George , New York. There Mayor Robert Blais looked at the label, spoke to the DEC and concluded that the possible damage to their village was too great and he cancelled the spraying of a so-called ULV (ultra light volume) and safe chemical, malathion.

Unfortunately through intentional acts or simple negligence, the EPA has failed to alert people to the existence of a list of Minimum Risk Pesticides maintained by the EPA itself. This is often called the list of "exempt products' and is technically found under EPA Reg. 25(b) of FIFRA. These products have pesticidal qualities as the name implies but are so free of health risks that they are not required to be registered at the EPA. In other words, here are products that can be used as insecticides but which will not cause the potential harm generated by the use of Anvil, Scourge, malathion and others. If these were to be used, people would not need to be protesting and fighting about the effects of spraying chemicals all over the neighborhood. These products are sold commercially and are often derived from commonly used food products such as cinnamon, rosemary, citric acid, garlic juice and 27 others. We think that the time has come for people to be aware of these products and to insist they be at least tested, if not used by those agencies charged with maintaining insect control. It cannot hurt anyone and if they are effective to control mosquitoes without killing everything else in sight can that be bad?

Written by: Ronald Cassidento


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