Lourdes Salvador's Column
...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.
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Woman with Chemical Sensitivity Fumigated by Leon County Government
by Lourdes Salvador
After a 15 year battle to protect her property from toxic chemical trespass, Kathy Termotto breathed a sigh of relief when Leon County Commission in Florida established a one-quarter mile buffer zone to protect the health of residents who were placed on a no-spray list for mosquito control.
Then on Friday, just a few months later, Termotto found her home bathed in a gaseous aerosol of insecticide.
The insecticide, a synthetic pyrethroid was pumped into the air by a truck driving through her neighborhood in the name of mosquito control.
Mosquito control often takes residents by surprise. Concerns have been raised by residents who are exposed to these toxic insecticides while barbequing, exercising, swimming, enjoying an open window, or growing (once) organic vegetables in their yards.
Once case in New York found a woman, her small child, and their dinner fumigated while eating on the patio of a restaurant. Both became ill and the incident raised concerns over human safety of these fumigants and the potential for food contamination.
Synthetic pyrethroids are dangerous to both human health and the environment. Merck warns that they may cause dermatitis, systemic allergic reactions, nausea, vomiting, tinnitus, headache and central nervous system disturbances. They kill by affecting the nervous system, so they also have the potential to damage the central nervous system.
The effect may be particularly pronounced in pets and small children who are not fully developed. Some people are allergic to pyrethroids and others, such as children and those with chemical sensitivity, are easily poisoned by doses even smaller than those used for mosquito control.
Termotto says she suffers from multiple chemical sensitivity, a condition which makes her more susceptible to the effects of low doses of toxic substances. The gaseous cloud of chemicals disbursed upon her and her home is a fundamental human rights violation that occurred after her doctor provided medical evidence of her condition to the Leon County Commission.
Termotto says that Bob Rackleff, Chairman of Leon County Commission had his aide, Kate Brady, call her to inform her that the 1/4 mile buffer zone policy she was previously protected under was reversed due to election concerns.
"When is the Commission going to address this medical crisis for the many citizens in Leon County who suffer from MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity), EI Syndrome (environmental illness syndrome), and serious chemical allergies," asks Termotto, "If Chairman Bob Rackleff´s wife had a similar hyper-allergic reaction to these chemicals, do you think Parwez Alam, the Leon County Administrator, would allow those trucks to get within a mile of Rackleff´s home? I don´t think so."
Children playing in the street and yard are most vulnerable to fumigation.
Termotto says, "How would Commissioners Dailey and Sauls vote on this matter if either of their children could be incapacitated and sent to the local emergency room because of the indiscriminate, systematic, and wide-area spraying of these noxious chemicals in their neighborhoods?"
Termotto is not against mosquito control. She supports mosquito control that is truly responsible and effective, non-toxic to human life, which she says is much less expensive to taxpayers.
"We all have a fundamental right not to be sprayed by the county mosquito control programs currently in operation throughout the state," asserts Termotto, "Does anyone have the right to walk onto your property and indiscriminately spray toxic chemicals wherever they wish? We think not. Should they do so, repeatedly, they would probably end up being arrested for trespass and chemical assault."
For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
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