In North Carolina 

Agricultural Resources Center

Fawn Pattison, Executive Director,
PESTicide EDucation Project
206 New Bern Place
Raleigh, NC 27601


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From: Susan Wells Vaughan <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, October 24, 2000 3:22 AM
Subject: [sprayno] N.C.

 I live in N.C. -- on The Outer Banks. I have been working, almost by myself, to stop the indiscriminate  mosquito spraying going on here for half a century -- and increased this  year due to EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) scares.   This year a state-confirmed case of EEE was reported as the cause of a  woman's death in Kill Devil Hills (outer banks next to Kitty Hawk and  Nags Head).  After this report, spraying was stepped up (by truck) to an  unprecedented level -- up to 5 times per week (they had been spraying  about 2 times a week every season from May to Oct.).

One local news article reporting on this "EEE" case mentioned that the  CDC would be doing tests as well, but then there was no follow up.   Finally about a month later, after I had asked commissioners and others  repeatedly if the CDC had confirmed, our county health dept. announced  that the death was NOT caused by a mosquito, but rather by tubercular  meningitis.   You would think that spraying would then have been reduced, but it  continued at the same rate.  Furthermore former no-spray requests, were
 now ignored, even at homes with pregnant woman, babies and those with  documented MCS or other conditions of compromised immune system.  Not long after the first false case was publicized, a nearby county  reported another EEE case, this time the woman recovered, and this time  I was told the CDC confirmed.

So the excessive and indiscriminate spraying continued.  NO other method  of control is used here.  Our state Dept of Environment's representative  made things worse by reporting to the media that the pesticide used is  "safe" (permethrin, piperonyl butoxide, petroleum distillates).  I  called Raleigh to confront  DENR about this lie (which is illegal in NC  by the way -- false representation of the effects of a pesticide), and  her superior in Raleigh stood by the lie - refused to correct it --  admitted he knew nothing about 60% of the product, admitted he knew it  was on EPA's list of possible human carcinogens, admitted that the
health effects are dependent on many individual factors, and admitted he  knew nothing about the synergistic effects -- was aware only of the  effects of the active ingredient acting individually) -- even with all  these admissions, he refused to correct the lies told to the press (said  he would tell the truth only if asked).

 I filed a complaint with the EPA. -- they referred me back to the state  Pesticide Board who had done next to nothing after people were sprayed  directly and complained last year.  Then finally just a few weeks ago, I learned that the "EEE" case where
the woman recovered was NEVER Tested by the CDC.  I also learned from a CDC rep. that the stats they have on  mosquito-borne viruses are taken from what the states report to the  CDC.   The statistics on EEE are labeled "Confirmed or Probable"  -- and  no one could tell me how many of those reported were actually tested by  the CDC.   No one has yet answered further questions I posed to the CDC:   Why was the Kill Devil Hills case tested by the CDC, and the Camden  County case not tested.  Are tests by the CDC more sensitive -- better indicators of these  viruses, and what is the final word or official test concerning these  mosquito-borne viruses?   How many of the EEE cases reported (since 1964), were actually confirmed
by the CDC? 

I think it's very interesting that tubercular meningitis, according to  what  I've read so far, is a dormant condition -- where a person may test  positive for tuberculosis, but has no symptoms unless the person  develops a weakened immune system.

The reason this is interesting is that one effect of permethrin is  weakening of the immune system. So the repeated and excessive spraying  of this chemical could not only have triggered the tubercular meningitis  that killed a local woman, but it could also be weakening the immune  systems of birds, making them more susceptible to the mosquito-borne  viruses as well.   Also the petroleum distillates in the product, VOC's, it seems, would  contribute to global warming which contributes to a rise in mosquito
populations.   It makes no sense at all, for anyone to be using this method of control. 

As far as West Nile goes, I would have the same questions about  confirmation.  I'd like to know just how sensitive the tests are, and if the CDC is  doing any retests to confirm.   All the sources i've read agree that West Nile is far less serious than  EEE.

Oddly none of the health depts. in N.C seemed concerned about the public  health threat from excessive, indiscriminate use of pesticides, but  everybody is going bonkers over a few EEE cases in birds.   Also interesting is that DEET, combined with permethrin is suspected as  one of the causes of Gulf War Syndrome, and DEET is reported to cause  encephalitis.

I discovered that the main pesticide used here is Aqua-Reslin, made by  AgrEvo Environmental Health (they have the gall to call themselves this)   -- AgrEvo is part of Hoechst (formerly of IG Farben, maker of Zyclon   B).  Hoechst was recently under fire from the FTC for illegally blocking  a generic form of a prostate drug which competed with Hoechst's own  drug.  Hoechst also recently merged with Rhone-Poulenc, a big  chemical/pesticide manufacturer located in Research Triangle Park, NC.
 -- the new name is Aventis, maker of the GE corn that got into the tacos  that were just recalled.   Hoechst also makes Allegra and the abortion pill, and dyes under the  name of DyStar. Dystar's headquarters in the US just happen to be in  Charlotte, NC.
I think it's deplorable that our county supports a company that profits  from a pesticide that weakens immune systems, then  profits from drugs  that are used to treat conditions which can be caused by weakened immune  systems.   And I really wonder just how much all this EEE and West Nile scare has  to do with Hoechst, Bayer, and BASF. 

 These are the facts - I hope others will dig for more.
 Here are some links -- the first one has good info about West Nile:   What You Should Know About West Nile Encephalitis!
 Read the truth prepared by Citizens Campaign for the Environment,  via MARIN BEYOND PESTICIDES COALITION
 This site has info on alternatives to DEET and mentions that DEET too  can cause encephalitis

 Rhode Island's mosquito page has link to mosquito magnet


 Susan, Kitty Hawk

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