Salisbury Select Board makes informed decisions

Last night the Salisbury Select Board confirmed that Mike Blaisdell (Chair of the BLSG Board of Trustees) had acknowledged that there were problems with the annual report BLSG had submitted for inclusion in the Town Reports of the five BLSG District Towns. Blaisdell approved a plan to allow Salisbury to delete a misleading paragraph about arboviruses before including the report in their Town Report.

Although Blaisdell acknowledged the improper nature of the report, he was apparently not planning to send a revised report to all the District towns without first getting approval from the BLSG board. Therefore misleading information could appear in the Town Reports of all other District towns. Select Board members from these towns might still have time to contact Blaisdell and get approval to delete the misleading information.

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Arbovirus disinformation

The leadership of BLSG regularly mentions mosquito borne diseases when describing the services they provide. Their message is that BLSG’s operation reduces the chances that residents of the BLSG District will contract a disease from a mosquito. The BLSG leadership’s message is wrong, and it is inappropriate for them to even include this topic in public discussions.

Arboviruses in Vermont

Despite BLSG’s continued reference to a long list of tropical diseases, there are only two arboviruses carried by mosquitoes in Vermont: West Nile virus (WNV) and eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEv). The human illnesses caused by these viruses are extremely rare in Vermont.

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Why is BLSG mosquito control ineffective?

BLSG has failed to do aerial application of bacterial larvicides

Aerial application of bacterial larvicide granules is the most effective and safe method of mosquito control. When mosquito larvae eat the naturally occurring bacteria, proteins formed by the bacteria kill the larvae. BLSG has failed in recent years to apply larvicides from the air throughout the District. BLSG has failed to do any aerial larvicide application in Salisbury for the last two years.

Again this year, there is not enough money in the budget to apply aerial larvicides in the spring throughout the District. The state is not supplying enough money to support adequate aerial treatment.

Without first treating the primary breeding grounds with larvicide, the subsequent chemical treatments cannot be considered part of an integrated pest management program which is a requirement of BLSG’s permit. Although some of the BLSG District was treated with larvicides from the ground last year, it was only a small portion of the 6000 treatable acres.

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New study links organophosphate pesticides to IQ loss

Malathion, one of the two chemicals sprayed along roads in the BLSG District to kill mosquitoes, is an organophosphate pesticide. A new peer-reviewed study, published yesterday, concludes that organophosphate pesticide exposure in pregnant women can be responsible for a significant drop in IQ of their children. According to the study, in recent years, organophosphate pesticides and flame retardants have overtaken lead and mercury as the chemicals responsible for the biggest loss of IQ among children. The abstract of the study in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology is here and a news article about the study is here.

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New long-term study links pyrethroids and health risk

Last month an article about the health effects of pyrethroid insecticides was published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Internal Medicine). You can read a summary here and a news article here. The peer reviewed article describes the results of a study of 2116 nationally representative American adults who were followed for 17 years. At the beginning of the study each participant had a urine test for pyrethroids. During the study 246 of the participants died, and those with higher levels of pyrethroids at the start of the study were more likely to die. The group was divided into thirds (low, medium, and high levels of pyrethroids), and those in the high group were three times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those in the low group. Those in the high group were 1.5 times more likely to die of any cause compared to the low group.

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