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moth spraying

Posted Sep 07 2008 8:25pm
This topic is so overwhelming to me. If you don't live in the Bay Area, perhaps you can be thankful. Seems there is a pesky moth threatening the area's agriculture crops (the light brown apple moth). The state of California has decided to spray many communities and cities from the air with a chemical to stop the moth from breeding.

You can imagine how well this plan is going over with the public. The thing that I find so overwhelming is the lack of power to stop it. People are contacting their representatives and holding meetings and rallies.

I've even heard of one woman who says that if they go ahead with the plan she will permanently move her family out of the area. The chemicals are made to linger in the air, you see. You can't just evacuate for the spraying.

They plan to spray something called Checkmate (they've actually already sprayed it in Santa Cruz and Monterrey). The manufacturer and the Department of Agriculture says it is safe. Here is what it contains:

(E)-11-Tetradecen-1-yl acetate, (E,E)-9, 11-Tetradecadien-1-yl-acetate; cross linked polyurea polymer; butylated hydroxytoluene; polyvinyl alcohol; tricaprylyl methyl ammonium chloride; sodium phosphate; ammonium phosphate; 1,2-benzisothiozolin3-one; 2-hydroxyl-4-n-octyloxybenzophenone.

Here is a bit I pulled from the San Francisco Chronicle's website:

"Ammonium and sodium phosphates can irritate or burn the skin, eyes and respiratory tract. So can tricaprylyl methyl ammonium chloride, which is used to mothproof clothing and degrades into chemicals that are more environmentally toxic. Polyvinyl alcohol has caused cancerous tumors in lab animals. It's also labeled as an irritant - as is another Checkmate inert, butylated hydroxytoluene, which may be linked to a spectrum of symptoms including asthma, gene mutations and cancer. The little-studied 1,2-benzisothiozolin-3-one, a germicide, is considered highly toxic to green algae and marine invertebrates, according to a 2005 EPA re-registration document. And while there's not much data on UV-absorbing 2-hydroxy-4-n-octyloxybenzophenone, the family of chemicals to which it belongs is linked to the disruption of hormones, including estrogen, according to a 2003 report in the Journal of Health Science.

According to an article in The Chronicle ("State plans Bay Area pesticide spraying," Feb. 15), "state officials say the amount of pesticide applied shouldn't pose severe health risks, but they've also refused to rule out that the spray can affect humans, particularly sensitive people such as children and the elderly." (To see the complete article, go to "

Does anyone else think this just sounds like a really, really bad idea?
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