FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from
(DV) Meyer: Naled Kills Mosquitos -- and People?







New Orleans: Naled Kills Mosquitoes -- and People?
by Sarah Meyer
September 27, 2005

Send this page to a friend! (click here)


On September 12, KTLA reported that in New Orleans “federal public safety officials said that a military C-130 cargo plane was to begin spraying clouds of insecticide . . . to kill a growing population of disease-bearing mosquitoes.” The authorities noted that this spraying “would not pose a health threat.” Really?

Kurt Nimmo, in his article,Jackbooted Police State Emerging in New Orleans,” writes about an interview which Jeremy Scahill gave to Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!, “The Militarization of New Orleans”) which mentions the mosquito spray, Naled. Mr. Nimmo, giving various sources, notes that such “chemicals are carcinogens and induce ‘structural chromosome aberrations’.” He adds: “the military seems to be using NALED (and who knows what other chemicals) with the same cavalier disregard they used Agent Orange (a herbicide) in Vietnam.” Quite.

I shall investigate further this poison being used on the mosquitoes and people of New Orleans.

What is Naled?
Naled is an organophosphate. Its trade names are: Bromex, Dibrom, Dibromfos, Fly Killer-D, Lucanal and RE4355. Broken down, it produces Dichlorvus (DDVP). Its inert substances are: naphthalene and 1-2-4 trimethylbenzine, Information on this, and other pesticides available here. Its chemical name is dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphoric acid ester.

Who sells Naled?
Valent sold its US Naled/Dibrom business to American Vanguard Corporation (AMVAC) with effect from November 1998.

AMVAC, located in Los Angeles, specialises in pesticides and herbicides. AMVAC is also involved with “toxic waste management” though a sub-company, Environmental Mediation, Inc. (a convenient arrangement).

Naled is a PAN Bad Actor (Pesticide Action Network) with ‘high toxicity’ in two areas. (Further information about Naled can be found here.)

What is the story of Naled?
Naled has been used mostly on cotton and grapes. “Aerial applications can last for several days and can drift up to half a mile.” (What about in a strong breeze?) Breathing contaminated air is Naled’s most toxic form. Mosquito spraying uses small droplets, which are about four times more acutely dangerous than the larger droplets. (Publications, factsheets, articles NCAP North)

What is Naled's threat to New Orleans and its people?
The potential health and environmental effects outlined below strongly support the importance of finding alternatives to these pesticides as soon as possible.

The Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides
gives the following list of Naled dangers. They note that females are more sensitive than males, and that malnourished people and asthmatics are especially susceptible.

Physical: Headaches, eye and skin irritation, nausea and diarrhoea; muscle twitching and reduced strength, anaemia, difficult breathing. Cancer, also caused by Dichlorvus (stomach, pancreas; leukaemia).

Mental: increased aggression, seizures, slow responses, a deterioration of memory and learning, unconsciousness.

Prenatal dangers: the organophosphate breakdown of Naled, Dichlorvus, “interferes with prenatal brain development. The brain in tested pregnant animals was affected after 3 days of exposure, showing 15% of reduced brain size.”

Children: Naled and Dichlorvus can be passed on to children through breast feeding. Children exposed to Naled have an increased cancer risk.

Food Contamination: particularly strawberries, beans, celery and peppers.

Genetic: damage to the liver; chromosome abnormalities can be found in sperm and the spleen.

Environmental: No proper testing of water contamination in wells, streams or rivers has been done. The Environmental Protection Agency (sic) says that Naled “is toxic to birds and fish.” Reduced growth has been noted, as has the reduction of egg production and hatching.

But a recent report reveals devastating harm done to fish, shrimp and turtles (tumours). Further, sprays do not harm just ‘bad’ insects, they also harm ‘good’ ones. Stoneflies, which cycle nutrients in water and waterstriders, which scavenge, are affected. Naled affects bees, and the wasps that paralyse fruit flies. Endangered species are threatened.

What does the Environmental Protection Agency say?
Naled is listed by the EPA as a “moderate” poison and “must bear the Signal Word DANGER -- POISON because it is corrosive to the eyes.”

A full document, by Robert Rose, Pesticides and Human Health discusses the EPA “integrated methods of mosquito management”.

Risk to Humans
In another document, the EPA says: “Naled can be used for public health mosquito control programs without posing unreasonable risks to the general population when applied according to the label….” It continues: “However, at high doses, Naled, like other organophosphates, can over-stimulate the nervous system causing nausea, dizziness, or confusion. Severe high-dose poisoning with any organophosphate can cause convulsions, respiratory paralysis, and death.”

The Researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, North Carolina state: "Different views on the carcinogenicity data have been published; most indicate that the earlier studies were inadequate…, flawed … or showed unequivocal carcinogenicity… According to the EPA (using all the available data)"dichlorvos has been classified as a carcinogen based on oncogenic effects in mice and rats...... Increased incidences of mononuclear cell leukemia was observed in dosed male and female rats. In the male rats the increase in incidence was dose-related and statistically significant. Incidences of multiple fibroademonmas were seen in 9 exposed female rats whereas none were observed in the controls.”

Risk to Environment
The EPA says, “Naled, used in mosquito control programs, does not pose unreasonable risks to wildlife or the environment...” and later then adds “Naled is highly toxic to insects, including beneficial insects such as honeybees.” Further EPA documents on Naled can be found at:

What is Naled's future?
There is “strong evidence of how mosquito control pesticides (once applied to a "pristine" wildlife habitat) can then result in a dramatic increase in the incidence rate of encephalitis carrying mosquitoes in the area.“

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has written that the killing of adult mosquitoes by aerial spray is the least efficient control technique. Naled is not an exception.

“The potential for irreversible damage to public health, wildlife and marine life must be considered” in light of recent research.

“The fact that Agrow, one of the main agrochemical industry analysts, is questioning international regulatory status of OP insecticides, signals that this sector of the market is indeed in trouble.” Book Reviews: Pesticdes News 42

A recent Guardian headline reads: “Fears about exposure to crop spraying gain ground.” These very same doubts about chemical crop spraying should also apply to aerial Naled spraying for mosquitoes in New Orleans.

The producer of the dangerous Naled/Dibrom aerial spray primarily makes money killing mosquitoes. People become ill. The company makes yet more money again selling them drugs. Why does no one question the preposterous amorality of Pharmaceutical Corporations? What safe alternative can we find to Naled, and to all the other chemicals that are poisoning us, and our environment? Or is it too late?

Whilst hoping for the best with the new head of the EPA, Stephen Johnson, one suspects that a man with dedicated integrity to the greening of the EPA will succumb to the destructive and corporate will of the Bush administration.

Sarah Meyer is a writer and researcher based in Sussex, UK. She can be reached at: Visit her weblog.

View this feed in your browser

Related Articles

* Tipping Point/Point of No Return by Patricia Goldsmith
* The Age of Catastrophe: Preparing for Disaster by Jack Random
* Interview With Mike Davis on Katrina’s Aftermath by Lee Sustar
* Apocalypse Now: How Mankind Is Sleepwalking to the End of the Earth by Maria Gilardin
* A Prescription for Exclusion by Bill Berkowitz
* GOP’s Fiscal Policies Turned Natural Disaster into a Man-Made Catastrophe by J. Leopold
* Paying for Katrina by William Fisher
* The Enemy Within by Patricia Goldsmith
* Katrina: What Should Have Happened by Theodore Blishak
* Framing Katrina by Paul Street
* The Second American Revolution by Mike Whitney
* Hurricane Hugo at the UN by Mike Whitney
* Leviathan in the Flood: Katrina and the Fishy Logic of the State by Lila Rajiva
* Funeral Co Charged w Desecrating Corpses Hired to Collect Deceased Hurricane Victims by Jason Leopold
* Team Bush's African American Conundrum by Bill Berkowitz
* Beautiful Minds by Peter Kurth
* David Horowitz: American Red Cross Fundraiser? by Brandy Baker
* Were Women Raped in New Orleans? by Lucinda Marshall
* “Unacceptable”: The Federal Response to Katrina by Walter M. Brasch
* Levees Made of Lies by Phil Rockstroh
* Cuba and the United States: Two Countries, Two Responses by Dan Bacher

* Katrina: Relocation or Ethnic Cleansing? by Mike Whitney

* Once More on the Real Heroes and Sheroes by Larry Bradshaw and Lorrie Beth Slonsky
* Walking With The Ghosts of New Orleans by Lydia Howell
* Bush and Third World America and Manuel Valenzuela

* Imploding the Empire: Metaphors for the Age by Gary Corseri
* George Bush -- The Man With a SNAFU Plan by Sheila Samples
* Emphasizing the “Ass” in Compassionate Conservatism by Ken Sanders
* FEMA Chief Paid $$ Floridians Unaffected by Hurricane for Bush Support by Jason Leopold
* The Green Zone by Patricia Goldsmith
* Lessons From Hell by John Chuckman
* What Do You Mean, It’s “Like” Living in a Third World Country? by Mark Drolette
* The Real Heroes and Sheroes of New Orleans Larry Bradshaw and Lorrie Beth Slonsky
* Bush Must Go by Brandy Baker
* The All-Too American Tragedy of New Orleans by Paul Street
* Rodney King in New Orleans by Mike Whitney
* Katrina: “Bipartisan” Betrayal by toni solo
* The New Orleans Looters Are the Bush Progeny by Mike Whitney
* New Orleans and the System that Destroyed It by Gary Leupp
State of Marriage Took Precedence Over State of Louisiana by Jason Leopold
* Paul Allen's Other Yacht by Paul Rogat Loeb
* Kanye West is My Hero by Justin Felux

* The Devastating Impact of Hurricane George by Mike Whitney
* “Transformation”: How Rumsfeld Smashed the National Guard by Mike Whitney

* The Perfect Storm by Chris Floyd
* Waiting for the Outside World by Mike Ferner
* They Are Dying at This Moment by Brandy Baker
* Zero Tolerance: Bush Gets Tough as New Orleans Suffers by Jack Random
* Global Warming & Widespread Blackouts, Just as Deadly as Terrorism by Jason Leopold
* The National Guard Belongs in New Orleans and Biloxi, Not Baghdad by Norman Solomon