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Study links mosquito spray to delayed motor skills in babies

Study links mosquito spray to delayed motor skills in babies

Postby smix » Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:34 pm

Study links mosquito spray to delayed motor skills in babies
CNN

URL: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/09/health/na ... index.html
Category: healthNews
Published: June 9, 2017

Description: (CNN) - Naled -- the main chemical ingredient in the bug spray used in Miami to ward off Zika-carrying mosquitoes -- has an association with reduced motor function in infants, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Environmental International. The University of Michigan researchers found that children in China who had the highest prenatal exposure to naled had, at age 9 months, 3% to 4% lower scores on tests of their fine motor skills, which are the small movements of hands, fingers, face, mouth and feet, compared with those with the lowest exposure. This is the first general-population study of the insecticide chemical, the researchers said. Previous research into the chemical's effects on humans has occurred only in occupational and agricultural settings, where the subjects were exposed to much higher amounts of the chemical for longer amounts of time than residents living in neighborhoods where it is used. Those neighborhoods include areas of Miami where naled has been used this year as part of routine mosquito control and was used last year in an effort to halt local transmission of the Zika virus. But naled has been used for many years to control mosquitoes, according to the Miami-Dade County Department of Solid Waster Management's Mosquito Control Section.
Naled in China
China is the world's largest user of pesticides, the researchers say, with organophosphate insecticides, including naled, accounting for more than a third of all insecticide use there. Organophosphates work by interfering with the activities of an enzyme that is essential to the nervous systems of insects and humans. For the study, the researchers examined the umbilical cord blood of about 240 mothers for 30 organophosphate insecticides. Five of these chemicals -- naled, methamidophos, trichlorfon, chlorpyrifos and phorate -- showed up in at least 10% of the cord blood samples. At 6 weeks and 9 months, the babies' motor skills were tested using the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales, a well-known assessment tool that looks at gross, fine and total motor abilities. The assessment also looks at reflexes, stationary (body control), locomotion (movement), grasping and visual-motor integration (eyes and hands coordinated). At 6 weeks, none of the babies showed deficits in their motor skills. At 9 months, the researchers found deficits in motor function in infants with prenatal exposure to naled. Girls appeared to be more sensitive to naled's effects on motor function than boys, the researchers noted in their study. AMVAC Chemical Corp. spokesman Brian Maddox said the company does not sell naled into China and has "no idea how it may have been used or how much is applied. By contrast, the application of Naled in the US is well-defined by the USEPA label and is highly controlled to ensure compliance with rigorous US standards." In the US, spraying of the insecticide during approved uses produces very fine naled droplets that stay airborne for an extended period. The chemical begins to break down once exposed to sunlight or water. The Environmental Protection Agency and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say naled does not pose a health risk to either people or pets when sprayed in low concentrations. Very little of the low-concentration spray settles on the ground. Any food that may have been exposed should be rinsed before eating. Since concentrations are far below what is harmful to humans, symptoms, such as skin irritation or headache, are unlikely, according to health officials. "Both the CDC and the EPA have previously reviewed the scientific evidence, analyses, and published literature on the safety profile of Naled. They have permitted its use for more than five decades within highly specific applications designed to protect public health in more than a dozen states in the U.S, including Florida," Maddox said.
Previous concerns
However, in Puerto Rico, where a public health emergency was declared due to Zika last summer, protests ensued over plans to employ aerial spraying of naled as recommended by the CDC and EPA. Officials never followed the recommendation. And the European Union conducted its own review of naled that found it degrades to dichlorvos, a toxic chemical, in the presence of sunlight, and according to the EU scientific commission, this can cause genetic mutations. As a result, the EU has banned agricultural use of products containing naled.
Questioning the science
Naresh Kumar, associate professor of environmental health in epidemiology and public health at the University of Miami, cautioned, "I would be very careful about these findings." Kumar, who was not involved in the study, said the researchers did not take confounding factors into account. For instance, the authors must be able to conclusively rule out the possibility that the children had been exposed to some other chemical or circumstance that might have affected their motor skills during the period in between 6 weeks and 9 months -- since lower scores were detected at 9 months but not at 6 weeks. "I would simply worry about the rigor of the method and the quality control of the data," Kumar said. "Because of these things, I would be very cautious to use this study to make any policy decisions." However, he added, the study should alert the researchers to "evaluate further what the concentrations are of naled and other insecticides and pesticides in the food that people are consuming" in the study setting. By contrast, B. Barry Ryan, a professor at Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, said, "the analysis appears to be quite solid and robust and uses statistical methods consistent with the types of analyses typically done on this type of data." Though no study is conclusive, Ryan noted that the results shown in the study "are consistent with other investigations of this type. Neurodevelopmental effects associated with maternal exposure during pregnancy are typical." While any number of variables -- including heavy metal exposure or air pollution -- could have affected the babies without being measured or taken into account by the researchers, Ryan said, "However, one may assume that these are randomly distributed in this population and thus, may, cancel out." EPA spokesman Robert Daguillard said, "The agency has received the University of Michigan study and will be taking a closer look at the details in the coming days." AMVAC recommends "a measured, science-based reaction to the study," Maddox said. "We will continue to work closely with CDC and EPA to make absolutely certain that safety and environmental concerns are foremost in any application of Naled to combat Zika-carrying mosquitos." The University of Michigan researchers could not be reached for comment.
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Re: Study links mosquito spray to delayed motor skills in babies

Postby samurai » Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:55 pm



Meanwhile, in Miami Beach

zika-protest-miami-beach.jpeg

People get to enjoy a fresh whiff of naled in the morning ...

rick-scott-naled.jpg

... then off they go to Sexy Beaches.

sexy-beaches-hazmat.jpg

... And the mama is like wow
And the booty's like bang, bang, bang.
You can't save me, babe, it's too late
I'm looking for a freak, not a soulmate.


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Mosquito Pesticide Sprayed All Over Miami Linked to Autism in Kids

Postby smix » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:47 pm

Mosquito Pesticide Sprayed All Over Miami Linked to Autism in Kids
Miami New Times

URL: http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/perme ... sm-9413444
Category: healthNews
Published: June 12, 2017

Description: Every year toward the beginning of rainy season, dense clouds of black salt marsh mosquitoes begin rising from the Everglades and coastal wetlands and descending upon Miami. For years, Miami and the Keys have fought back with a powerful tool: permethrin, a pesticide effective at killing the insects before they can make life miserable for South Florida. But a new study suggests that chemicals like permethrin are also dangerous to humans. The peer-reviewed research looked at a small area in New York subjected to regular aerial spraying and found an association between the pesticide use and the development of autism in children who live nearby. "This isn't a random poke in the dark. They already had good reason to suspect a connection between these pesticides and childhood developmental delays," says Philip Stoddard, South Miami's mayor and a professor of biological sciences at Florida International University. "Lo and behold, they found an association." The new research, published in Frontiers in Pediatrics, comes in a study headed by Steven D. Hicks, a medical researcher at Penn State University. Although researchers for years have suspected connections between autism and other developmental delays and pesticide, proving that tie has been difficult. Hicks and his team concentrated on Onondaga County in central New York, where the county government every year sprays pyrethroid pesticides — the class to which permethrin belongs — over a four-zip-code area called the Cicero Swamp to fight West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes. His team obtained permission to review medical records from SUNY Upstate, the only regional children’s hospital in an 80-mile radius — meaning they could separate young people who lived in the pesticide application area from those who didn't. When they compared autism diagnoses rates, the results were striking. "Zip codes with aerial pyrethroid exposure were 37 percent more likely to have higher rates of ASD/DD," the authors write. "To our knowledge, this is the first study to show a relationship between the route of pesticide exposure and rates of neurodevelopmental delay. It raises intriguing questions about the safety of pesticide use in our society and how the manner in which those pesticides are applied might affect brain development in children." According to Miami-Dade County documents, permethrin is one of four insecticides used to kill adult mosquitoes. Throughout the rainy season, county trucks and workers armed with backpacks blast the pesticide around neighborhoods at dawn and dusk, when the mosquitoes are most active. Stoddard says permethrin in particular has been the favored chemical to kill the pesky black salt marsh mosquitoes for years, ever since the insects became resistant to DDT. "Permethrin is our bread-and-butter pesticide for use against salt marsh mosquitoes," Stoddard says. "They send out the trucks, and that's what they spray all over Dade County." (Permethrin isn't to be confused with naled, which is the only pesticide Miami-Dade uses in aerial attacks against mosquitoes. Naled has its own controversial links to childhood conditions; that pesticide is banned in Europe due to studies suggesting it harms fetuses. Protestors in Miami rallied against its increased use to fight the Zika virus last year.) The new study is careful to note that the statistical association between permethrin use and autism diagnoses does not mean a causal relationship has been proven. "Further studies are necessary to clarify the relationship between pesticide exposure and neurodevelopmental outcomes," the researchers write. But the parallels between central New York's application of the pesticide and the wide use in Miami are alarming. Stoddard says the research should at least cause Miami-Dade leaders to rethink their procedures. In the Florida Keys, for instance, he says mosquito control experts monitor black salt marsh mosquito populations in undeveloped swampland and mostly spray there to kill them before they can move into populated areas. "We have other good options," he says. "You've missed that opportunity by the time black marsh mosquitoes actually come to the suburbs." As Zika season reemerges in Miami, the county can also lean more heavily on BTI, an organic pesticide that's been proven effective against the Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito, Stoddard says. "We have other good tools for the mosquito that causes Zika," he says. Hicks' study also encourages counties to reconsider the costs and benefits of using pesticides such as permethrin to battle Zika. "The relationship between pesticide application and human neurodevelopment deserves additional study to develop safe and effective methods of mosquito prevention, particularly as communities develop plans for Zika virus control," the study notes.
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