From Dr Doris Rapp
Open Letter to Maricopa County Doctors
We have a crisis situation in Maricopa County,
Arizona, and once you are presented with scientific facts, you will
understand why your help is needed to convince the county officials
that the mosquitoes are not in danger, it is the public. Everyone
must realize that chemicals damage the immune, CNS, endocrine and
reproductive systems of humans and animals. The pyrethrins and synthetic
pyrethroids are no exception.
County officials are purported to plan to
continue to inundate us with massive toxic pyrethroid chemicals until
November. Forget the unnecessary
expenditure of millions of dollars. Forget the potential for law suits
for breaking the Clean Water (and Air?) Acts as they presently have
in NYC. They are upset in New York because many were harmed by the
use of toxic sprays prior to 9/11 and also recently. Forget the fact
uninformed individuals have repeatedly assured the county that Anvil
is as safe as table salt and that weak concentrations of toxic sprays
cannot be harmful. Studies indicate these statements are grossly misleading,
erroneous, inaccurate, and potentially very harmful. Anvil (Kontrol)
is not simply a mix of crushed chrysanthemums. It has been extensively
chemically altered in preparation so it is more toxic and longer
lasting. (Summer 2002, J. of Pesticides) The pyrethroids disrupt the permeability of the nerve membranes.
They can inhibit calcium uptake in rat brain cells affecting neurotransmission.
What about humans? There is
very little data on inhalation toxicology or on the degradation products
or the metabolites of some of the pyrethrins or synthetic pyrethroids.
The following is what is important now.
Facts: How Dangerous Is The Infected Mosquito?
We do not have an epidemic. Three deaths per 6 million people is not a reason
to pollute the air, water, food, wildlife and inhabitants of the Phoenix
How Safe Is The Spray?
The reports vary as to how long the spray
lasts. Some say 2 hours in sunlight.
Germans report 60 hours and some say it can take a month or
more for the chemical to fully dissipate. Other articles say it can
last up to 3 months. (“Insecticides in ambient air following application of control
for pests”. Env. Contam. Toxic. 26:548-553,l981). The pyrethroid chemicals do bioaccumulate.
We have dust storms that can stir up the
chemicals in the saturated soil.
Swamp coolers and leaky roof air conditioners can bring the
chemicals into a home. The chemicals can collect in carpets for about
10 weeks putting children and pets in special jeopardy. (J. of High Resolution Chromatography,
l997, Vol20 pg 284) In one study in half the homes studied they
found over 60% had permethrin and piperonyl butoxide, as well as other
toxic chemicals in the house dust and air. (Environmental
Science and Technology 9/2003). What will the indoor levels be
after the massive nightly county spraying in this area? Physicians
should be recommending air purifiers, such as the Austin, to help
remove chemicals as well as dust, molds and pollen and turning off
swamp coolers and leaky rooftop air conditioners.
Maricopa County is in a lovely valley that
is not similar to windy Chicago. The sprays used nightly can build
up and may not be blown away. The pyrethroid spray is 96% inerts,
which are reported to contain naptha, propane, isobutene, hydrotreated
kerosene, silica, trimethyl benzene and ethyl benzene. In addition,
hazardous contaminants in some pyrethroid formulations include ethylene
oxide, arsenic and benzene (a common cause of childhood leukemia).
(Insecticide Fact Sheet- Pyrethrins/Pyrethrums, National Coalition
of Alternative to Pesticides, Spring, Vol. 22. #1, 2002, 541 344 5044
and The Toxicology and Environmental Fate of Synthetic Pyrethroids,
J. of Pesticide Reform, Vol. 10, # 3, l990- 415-541-9140). They can certainly adversely affect the health of the inhabitants
of this area acutely and chronically. (See Our Toxic World, A Wake Up Call, by
Doris J. Rapp, M.D., Chapter 8 To obtain the book call 1 800 787 8780
for a 20% discount or call Amazon). To find out more about safer better
ways to control a mosquito or West Nile viral problem see www.drrapp.com.)
Who Can Be Affected?
The subset of the population that is most
apt to be affected by either the West Nile virus or the spray are
the unborn, the very young, the elderly and those who have a depressed
immune system. This includes those who have allergies, autoimmune
diseases or those who have had chemotherapy for cancer.
The spray, however, can cause those who
have never had sensitivity to chemicals to develop this problem. You
will see patients who suddenly complain that chemicals that never
bothered them before are now developing symptoms from a whiff of perfume,
lawn spray or putting gas in the car. They will begin to smell chemicals
what others do not notice. They also may complain they have suddenly
developed allergies that were never present before. You will also
see other patients who already have chemical sensitivities because
they will relapse and suddenly become immensely ill. Some will die.
These are the ones who say they collapse when they go outside if the
air is polluted with chemicals. These are the ones who leave the city
and come back and are desperately ill in minutes, outside and inside
their homes. (Read book by Ashford and Miller- entitled Chemical Exposures,
Low Levels and High Stakes.)
The Acute Signs and Symptoms
The effects of the spray can be acute and
easily confused with other illnesses. We will know the facts only
if the records of school health officials and emergency rooms are
scrutinized. Look for headaches, weakness, lack of energy, nausea,
dizziness, swollen red eyes, a stuffy nose, chest congestion, salivation
and rashes Of course these symptoms are non-specific and easily confused
with many other illnesses but be suspicious if they become evident
or worse in the morning after spraying. Watch for numbness or burning
of the skin, burning of the throat, unexplained tender skin spots,
sudden nosebleeds, twitches, seizures or swollen glands. Some can
have an immediate asthma attack. Infants, in particular, will be prone
to this. (Environmental Health Perspectives, on line 12/9/03.) Some will develop
an arrhythmia, others a heart attack. Some will have an increased
sensitivity to sound and touch, in particular strange facial sensations.
Some will have, urgency to void or unusual behavior or activity. Some
might develop anemia as evidenced in laboratory animals. Pyrethroids
raise the blood sugar levels in gerbils. What about humans? We donâ€™t
know. Would you suspect a chemical was the cause if you noted these
symptoms in patients in the next few weeks?
Blood, urine and saliva pyrethroid tests
are available. Until you can get a kit, collect urine in a clean glass
bottle and refrigerate it. Call Accuchem or Immunoscience Lab.
Some the above symptoms will last only a few days; for others
it can be just the beginning of the illness called a chemical sensitivity,
which can last for a lifetime.
Am I exaggerating? No. One woman died after
using a pyrethroid flea shampoo on her dog. (Clinical Toxicology 32(4) pg 457, l994.) Some can expire quickly if they have a chemical sensitivity.
Cindy Dheuring died suddenly when they did not warn her, as they were
supposed to, and sprayed too close to her home.
The good news is that in mammals, the acute
signs of toxicity are usually temporary and diminish.