NEW YORK CITY MUST STOP SPRAYING
The City has announced it will begin spraying dangerous pesticides in crowded residential areas in Brooklyn and Queens on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011.
The No Spray Coalition is appalled by Mayor Bloomberg’s and the City’s Department of Health decision to renew the mass-spraying no legitimate reasons given and demands that the City stop this mad spraying before it starts.
We also condemn the New York City government’s advice to residents and visitors that they personally use insect repellants containing DEET on themselves and their children. DEET is especially dangerous for children and should NEVER be used; it is associated with numerous infant deaths. The City knows this; we negotiated an agreement with the City last year that they wouldn’t recommend DEET. And here they are, again, acting in utter disregard of the health and safety of our children, and more generally of all the people of New York.
Furthermore, this year’s spray of choice Anvil 10+10 is listed in Local Law 37 (2005 update, see page 1, paragraph 4, discussion of table 2) that states that for piperonyl butoxide and MGK-264 contained as synergists in Anvil 10 + 10, that
“both of these chemicals are classified as possible human carcinogens by the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs. Most products containing pyrethrins continue to be prohibited under LL37 even if the reference to the EPA list was updated”.
Local Law 37 prohibits the use of pesticides by NYC in public places if it contains PBO and/or MGK-264. Why are they violating their own law?
LISTEN TO DR. ROBERT SIMON ON PESTICIDES CLICK HERE
The No Spray Coalition is also deeply troubled not only by NYC’s reckless spraying of Anvil 10 + 10 to kill mosquitoes, but for the City’s very short notice around 24 hours, that’s it!
“After years of litigation to stop this reckless spraying of pesticides which has contributed to skyrocketing increases in cancer and asthma, and now the collapse of bee colonies in the New York area, I am outraged that the Bloomberg Administration is renewing its mindless criminal poisoning of the people and environment of our City,” said Howard Brandstein, coordinator of SOS-FOOD, NY State Against Genetic Engineering, and a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit brought seven years ago by the No Spray Coalition and other organizations against Rudolph Giuliani and the New York City government. That lawsuit ended in April 2007, when NYC signed a settlement agreement acknowledging, among other stipulations, that pesticides:
The Department of Health contravenes that settlement by now stating that there are no significant risks of adverse impact to human health associated with the proper use of this product. “That is simply a lie,” said No Spray Coalition coordinator Mitchel Cohen.
In fact, the spraying puts many New York City residents and visitors at grave risk. “These kind of ignorant and lying politicians and bureaucrats apparently have no problem destroying our health in order to ‘save’ us from the so-called West Nile virus,” Howard Brandstein added.
“Clearly, the spraying jeopardizes a thousand times more people than the disease.”
The pesticide the City is spraying “Anvil 10 + 10 belongs to a class of adulticides known as pyrethroids, which are endocrine disruptors. They mimic hormones such as estrogen, and may cause breast cancer in women and drastically lower sperm counts in men.
Pyrethroids have also been associated with prostate cancer, miscarriages and preterm delivery, asthma, toxicity to many vital organs including the nervous system, liver, kidneys and the gastro-intestinal tract, skin rashes, itching and blisters, and nausea and vomiting.
Anvil contains the cancer-causing chemical piperonyl butoxide, which the Environmental Protection Agency lists as a suspected carcinogen. It also contains Sumithrin a synthetic toxin, made in the laboratory as well as benzene-related chemicals (which the label calls “inert ingredients.”)
Thousands of New Yorkers were severely sickened by the spraying in 1999 and 2000. A number of members of the No Spray Coalition, including several of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, died from pesticide-related illnesses. Many suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) or Asthma caused or exacerbated by the spraying.
“The City administration must be made to understand that pesticides are extremely dangerous to human health as well as to the natural environment, and have long-term consequences,” Cohen said.
The No Spray Coalition strongly urges the City to stop pesticide spraying immediately, reconsider its entire approach, and seek alternative, safe means to control mosquitoes. There are natural, safe ways for each person to ward off mosquitoes. The City should not be poisoning the entire population.
The first spraying of the year in Brooklyn took place
on the evening of August 21. The spray truck – now driven by unionized NYC
workers wearing DOHMH insignias – recklessly spewed pesticides in a thick
cloud down crowded 5th Avenue in Sunset Park and in the surrounding area
in utter disregard of the hundreds of people walking the streets. The
truck blasted pregnant women and many, many little children with the
spray, and fogged people in dozens of restaurants – their doors wide open
– without warning as they ate.
This year, City officials have put forth even less information than in the past as to why they decide to spray pesticides. In addition, they have started spraying earlier in the evening, even though people are more likely to be on the streets and directly affected by the spraying.
The NoSpray Coalition learned about the plan to spray in
Brooklyn earlier that same day and set up a literature table near at the
“F” train exit on the corner of McDonald Avenue and Albemarle Rd. in the
residential Kensington section shortly before the spraying began. Around a
dozen participants distributed hundreds of flyers, spoke with local store
owners, and held a Speak-Out right there on the corner.
Speakers noted that the pesticides spewed from the trucks are endocrine (hormone) disruptors that may cause cancer, and are especially dangerous to children, the elderly, and those who are immune compromised. 2
The pesticides also kill off natural predators of mosquitoes such as dragonflies, which eat large amounts of mosquitoes every hour. The result of each round of spraying is MORE, not fewer, mosquitoes. 3
As public awareness grows, people have begun taking to the streets. In recent months, protests against pesticides have taken place in Winnipeg (Canada), Chicago, Florida, St. Louis, and California.
Nevertheless, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in New York
City refuses to listen. “It’s as though the City Department of Health has
learned nothing in all these years,” Coalition spokesperson Mitchel Cohen
told Brooklyn News 12, which broadcast an extensive report on opposition
to the spraying. FOX-News also sent a camera person. 1010-WINS all-news
radio ran interviews as well as radio stations in Troy NY, and
Massachusetts, and the local papers carried stories on the spraying,
quoting extensively from the Coalition’s press release on the dangers of
pesticides. Ula Kuras, a reporter for IndyMedia, wrote a very good story
that was featured on the front page of the IndyMedia website:
The pesticide mixture that the City continues to spray this year contains the cancer-causing chemical piperonyl butoxide. It also contains so-called “inert ingredients,” which, despite the innocuous-sounding category (“inert” ingredients), are also dangerous. In addition, pyrethroids such as Sumithrin, the active ingredient in Anvil 10 + 10, have been shown to be hormone (endocrine) disruptors and neurotoxins as well as serious lung irritants. (see “What’s In the Pesticides?”)
And, in addition to being dangerous to people and the environment, an important new study shows that pyrethroid spraying is not even effective in reducing the number of the next generation of mosquitoes. 4
Why does the City continue to pursue this senseless way of killing mosquitoes?
Some Coalition members believe it has little to do with public health and more to do with creating the need for and justifying the use of million of dollars in federal funds. They note that all federal funds related to West Nile-carrying mosquitoes are coming from the so-called “Anti-Terrorism” budget. “There are no federal funds any longer for public health,” Cohen said. “Researchers and public health officials have told us that in order to receive funds from Washington – and this was as much under Clinton/Gore before 9-11 as it is under Bush – they had to frame the issue as part of the fight against terrorism. It is a devil’s bargain.”
Indeed, the so-called pesticide ’cure’ jeopardizes many, many more people than West Nile virus is said to do, as well as pets, bees, butterflies, fish and the natural environment. There are numerous effective ways to repel mosquitoes – poisoning us all is not one of them.
The No Spray Coalition has called for people throughout the City to protest the spraying, Some may block the spray trucks. Others may do theater, write to their local government officials, hand out flyers in their neighborhoods and schools, or take other actions deemed necessary to save our lives from the dangerous sprays the City is using.
The Coalition has also contacted the drivers' union, as spray truck drivers a few years ago were diagnosed at Mt. Sinai hospital with serious ailments due to pesticide poisoning.
2. Pesticides have cumulative, multigenerational, degenerative impacts on human health, especially on the development of children which may not be evident immediately and may only appear years or even decades later.
3. Studies done in New York state for mosquitoes carrying Eastern Equine Encephalitis found a 15-fold increase in mosquitoes after repeated spraying, and virtually all of the new generations of mosquitoes were pesticide-resistant. Journal of the Am Mosquito Control Assoc, Dec; 13(4):315-25, 1997 Howard JJ, Oliver New York State Department of Health, SUNY-College ESF, Syracuse 13210.
4. “Efficacy of Resmethrin Aerosols Applied from the Road for Suppressing Culex Vectors of West Nile Virus,” Michael R. Reddy, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, et. al., Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, Volume 6, Number 2, June 2006.
Update: Lawsuit against NYC Government
The No Spray Coalition is an all-volunteer not-for-profit organization that formed seven years ago to oppose New York City's mass-spraying of Malathion and Pyrethroids by helicopter and truck. Since that time, the Coalition has grown substantially by working alongside other environmental justice organizations and individuals and supporting each others' work. As a result, anti-pesticides activities have increased throughout the continent. The No Spray Coalition, along with other activist groups, has become expert in the dangers of pesticides and in presenting alternative and non-toxic means for dealing with mosquitoes and other critters considered to be pests.
In 2000, the No Spray Coalition became the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against New York City. Other plaintiffs include the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides (Beyond Pesticides), Disabled In Action, Save Organic Standards - NY, Valerie Sheppard (in Memoriam), Mitchel Cohen, Robert Lederman, and Eva Yaa Asantewaa.
Our legal team is headed by Joel Kupferman (of the New York Environmental Law and Justice Project) and Karl S. Coplan (of the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic, Inc.)
Last year, Federal District Judge Daniels upheld, for the most part, the No Spray Coalition’s interpretation of the Clean Water Act. The trial was set to go forward solely on the question of whether or not the City sprayed over navigable waterways. Since that time, the Coalition and the NYC government have become engaged in some rather intense rounds of negotiations in an attempt to reach a settlement.
Why negotiate instead of going to trial? The advantage for NYC is obvious -- to avoid risking a “guilty” verdict finding that they sprayed over navigable waterways and broke the law. While the NoSpray Coalition has amassed a great deal of testimony and video clips that this was indeed the case, we believe that there are substantial advantages at this time for opponents of pesticide spraying to try to arrive at a settlement, so long as it contains language expressing a clear recognition of the dangers of pesticides and stipulates ecological remediation. These, we feel, would be an important advance over what we might win at trial should the City be found guilty of violating the law.
We were in the midst of finalizing a possible settlement when the City began this latest and horrible round of pesticide spraying. We still hold out hope that we will be able to reach a negotiated settlement, but the reckless spraying that the City is currently doing indicates to us that officials have not learned the lessons that even many of its own public health officials had outlined.
Over the next few weeks, while we continue negotiations, we also need to raise thousands of dollars to pursue the lawsuit (should negotiations collapse), as well as to intensify our work on the ground. We will be leafleting different areas of New York City against the spraying, and we are expanding our website to include more reports from across the continent. Please send reports of activities in your neighborhood to us, photos, etc.! (If you know how to add material to websites and have some time to contribute, we can sure use your help, too.)
As an all-volunteer group -- none of us gets paid -- the NoSpray
Coalition depends on the consciousness and generosity of our supporters.
Funds are desperately needed. Whatever you can contribute would be very
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In Memoriam – We are very, very saddened to inform you of the passing of our friend and fellow activist Mike Pahios, who died in his apartment in Brooklyn last month. Mike was a member of Veterans for Peace and Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and was a stalwart supporter of the No Spray Coalition. He had raised the issue with us of homeless veterans and the effects of toxic pesticides sprayed on them. We hope to write more about Mike and his life in a future issue of NoSpray Newz.
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Books we recommend by members and friends of NoSpray
Our Toxic World
This 510-page book is about chemicals and how they are hurting our children, all wildlife, our planet and us. Find out how to protect yourself and your loved ones, We have polluted our air, water, soil, food, homes, schools and workplace. Includes many references to the No Spray Coalition and the fight against pesticides in New York City and throughout the U.S.
Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green To Me:
Been Brown So Long, It Looked Like Green To Me, The Politics of
A comprehensive seven-part reader on environmental politics. Covering everything from toxics to electric power plays, St. Clair gives you a shocking view of how money and power determine the state of our environment. St. Clair names the culprits and exposes the deeds. The book opens with Oregon as a metaphor for the nation. Jeffrey St. Clair is an award-winning investigative journalist, co-editor of political newsletter CounterPunch and author of nine books.
The Permanent Carnival and Other Poems
Red Balloon Books - $15 includes mailing. 66 pages.
Just published, Mitchel’s 2nd book of poems, fresh off the press. To order, use PayPal mitchelcohen@(at) mindspring.com, or send a check to
Hooked on Raw
Chock-full of information about raw/live food lifestyle. Half the book
is devoted to recipes that provide a delicious, gourmet surprise. The
other half covers many health-related issues, such as bringing wild foods
and organic foods into the diet, soil fertility, food irradiation, genetic
engineering of seeds/plants, hybridization of seeds, fasting, rejuvenation
and much, much more. Rhio gently guides you to the opportunity to make
major changes in your lifestyle so that you can experience new awareness
and vibrant health. (352 pages paperback)
More Photos from the Brooklyn Spraying
Keith Lisy, a member of the No Spray Coalition seemed better prepared than most.
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene employee
without mask, as passenger in spray truck, as it zig-zagged
through Brooklyn's streets spraying everyone, everything in sight.
Note the NYC Dept Of Health Mental Hygiene insignia on jacket.
Driver of one of the spray trucks in Brooklyn. Note: No masks or
protective gear. In 2001, six spray truck drivers were diagnosed as
suffering from "pesticide poisoning" by doctors at Mt. Sinai hospital,
according to the No Spray Coalition's attorney Joel Kupferman, of the
NY Environmental Law and Justice Project.
Anvil Cocktails for All
by Pete Leki
It's Summer in the City
Anvil whining down the block
We get Anvil on our salsa
Anvil on the kiddies
Anvil sprayed on grannies
Anvil at the cafes
"Don't worry. It won't hurt you."
You can't blame it on the Anvil
Lead, asbestos, ozone,
A little bit on Anvil
We need to show we're active
So bring it on, don't fear it.
(mp3 of author reading poem on website)
No Spray Coalition is an all-volunteer not-for-profit organization that
formed six years ago to oppose New York City's mass-spraying of Malathion
and Pyrethroids by helicopter and truck. Since that time, the Coalition
has grown substantially by working alongside other environmental justice
organizations and individuals and supporting each others' work. As a
result, the No Spray Coalition has become expert in the dangers of
pesticides and in presenting alternative and non-toxic means for dealing
with mosquitoes and other critters considered to be pests.
We the No Spray Coalition is an all-volunteer not-for-profit organization that formed six years ago to oppose New York City's mass-spraying of Malathion and Pyrethroids by helicopter and truck. Since that time, the Coalition has grown substantially by working alongside other environmental justice organizations and individuals and supporting each others' work. As a result, the No Spray Coalition has become expert in the dangers of pesticides and in presenting alternative and non-toxic means for dealing with mosquitoes and other critters considered to be pests.
We need your financial help!
We have been meeting with officials from the New York City government will be meeting with the No Spray Coalition and other plaintiffs before a federal Magistrate Judge to attempt to carve out a settlement in the Coalitiona's 5-year-old lawsuit against the City for its indiscriminate spraying of toxic pesticides to kill mosquitoes said to be the cause of West Nile encephalitis.
We also return to federal court before Judge Daniels to either approve of the negotiated settlement or to set the date for trial. (The Coalition's proposal is posted below.)
We need your financial help, and need it fast!
The Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the No Spray Coalition, National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides, Disabled In Action, Save Organic Standards - New York, Valerie Sheppard (in Memoriam), Mitchel Cohen, Robert Lederman, and Eva Yaa Asantewaa.
Our legal team is headed by Joel Kupferman (of the New York
Over the next few weeks, we need to raise tens of thousands of dollars to pursue the lawsuit and intensify our work. As an all-volunteer group, none of us gets paid -- the NoSpray Coalition depends on the consciousness and generosity of our supporters.
Contribute by credit card or PayPal, please click the button:
What began six years ago as a tiny, isolated grassroots struggle in New York City against the spraying of Malathion has become a major effort with nation-wide consequences. Today, we align ourselves with many similar grassroots groups across the country; share information, send our members to participate in anti-pesticide struggles elsewhere, and post their work to the NoSpray Coalition website.
Along the way, we have achieved numerous victories such as blocking multi-million dollar contracts to pesticide spraying corporations; winning state-imposed fines against a major contractor for poisoning its workers (thanks to the great work of the New York Environmental Law and Justice Project); and basically making the dangers of pesticides known to the vast number of people living in the New York metropolitan area. And much, much more.
Please download flyers on the dangers of pesticide spraying and the application of DEET on children; find informative scientific articles linking pyrethroids with breast cancer and dramatically lowered sperm counts; view the five years of legal papers (a number of other lawsuits across the country have found them to be very helpful) and alternative and non-toxic ways to address these issues; and read our critique of the hysteria being orchestrated, first around West Nile, then Anthrax, SARS, Smallpox, and now Avian Flu “ all "addressed" by officials who call for in some cases "quarantine camps," more spraying, and mass inoculations as their answer, while ignoring the huge dangers of pesticides to people, animals, and the natural environment.
We can't stress enough how important even a small contribution would be at this time. Thank you so much.
No Spray Coalition
*The No Spray Coalition is a not-for-profit organization, but it is not a 501-c-3; your contributions are NOT tax-deductible. However, if you wish to make a large contribution and deduct it from your taxes, please contact us.
From June 2005:
U.S. District Court Judge George Daniels issued his long-awaited ruling in early June on a case brought five years ago by the NoSpray Coalition, along with a number of other organizations and individuals, against NYC governments indiscriminate spraying of toxic pesticides to kill mosquitoes said to be transmitting West Nile Virus.
Over the years a number of courts had eliminated the large body of evidence we presented about people who were seriously sickened by the spraying of poisons such as Malathion and pyrethroids over New Yorks streets and urban environment, whittling down the case to the sole question of whether or not the City sprayed pesticides over water.
In this latest ruling, Judge Daniels agreed with most of our lawyers claims that spraying toxic pesticides over NYC waterways without a permit - even if unintended (and it was VERY intentional) or for a short time - constitutes a violation of the Clean Water Act, and rejected the NY City governments claims to the contrary.
This is a very good result. Early findings on the law issues will stand as the law of the case for later arguments when applying the law to the facts.
This was a long-awaited and very important decision, as it carefully reviews prior case law and defines what constitutes a pollutant and rules that helicopters and spraytrucks can be considered point sources under the Clean Water Act, as well as under what circumstances pesticide-spraying might indeed be opposed legally. We expect that it will have very positive implications for environmental and social justice activists who are fighting against the misuse of pesticides across the country.
With all the legalistic interpretations now out of the way and resolved in our favor, the case will be fast-tracked and go to trial before a jury with Judge Daniels presiding to determine whether the City actually sprayed pesticides over New Yorks aterways.
The full text of Judge Daniels's ruling is posted here at http://nospray.org/documents/JudgeDanielsDecision.pdf
Original artwork by Robert Lederman
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Email Webmaster: Keith Lisy KeithLisy@yahoo.com