…More Exposure to Neurotoxins?
Today, a group of concerned citizens, farm owners, bee keepers, agtivitists and mothers spoke to the Commissioners Court of Dallas County about their plans to spray during daytime hours, by truck and by plane, with neurotoxic mosquito spray. My message was simple–we have a True Epidemic going on in our country right now with 1 in 6 children reported to have neurological developmental disabilities possibly linked to pesticides–Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD, Processing Disorders, etc. We also have an epidemic of adult neurological conditions like Alzheimers and Parkinsons. I asked the Court to consider the mounting scientific evidence relating these issues with our overload of environmental pollutants and to please consider the 1 in 6 number vs. the 1 Texas case of Chickungunya (in Austin–a traveler from the Caribbean) and the zero reported cases of West Nile this year in Dallas County. In my mind, and if I remember from my statistics class, that isn’t an epidemic.
Politics 1 Citizen 0…they of course went forward to start the contract with the company who can spray us all at the court’s request. No consideration for the long term health of citizens, with the ineffectiveness of the spray, the relative ease and effectiveness of organic larvacide, the loss of income from the local organic food supply, or (not least) the loss of beneficial insects and mosquito predators and our pollinators. I have compassion for those affected by infectious disease, but I can protect myself and my family from that. Not so with long term drift and spray of toxic chemicals.
I commend the commissioner’s for their compassion of the refugee children coming into Dallas County–the other issue of the day. How about a little love for the families afflicted with a Developmental Disability in their house? Developmental Disabilities in children impacts that child for life. Parents feel guilt, stress, worry and isolation. Instead of going to Tball or Ballet classes, these families spend hours at occupational or behavioral therapy clinics. Marriages and family budgets are strained. Siblings wonder why their brother or sister acts out against them and why they can’t belong in a “normal” (neurotypical) family. It strains our schools also. In one of my daughter’s 1st grade classes, at least 1/3 of the children had at least one Developmental Disability. Imagine that learning environment! In areas of higher income, parents opt out of public school to send their failing children to private schools to meet their needs (at $15-$25 K a year tuition). In our less advantaged areas, whole public schools suffer trying to accommodate the least amongst us. These children are at higher risk of bullying, depression, anxiety and suicide. Someday, they will need to be employed. How is that going to work out? Ask any employer of young people, and I bet they have already had some experience with these issues.
Shaking my head–there are smarter, safer, more cost effective and way less destructive ways to prevent the issue of mosquito borne illness. Have they exhausted education and code enforcement? Since a Dallas city councilwoman had a nasty pool filled with stagnant water with mosquito larvae, I don’t think so. What do I know? I’m just a Mom.