Report on Pesticides in Schools and West Nile Reemergence Spark Debate
Contact: Richard Morrison, 202.331.2273
Washington, D.C., July 28, 2005—Recent reports about pesticides in schools as well as the reemergence of the West Nile virus this year are fueling a growing debate over the human health risks of pesticides. Competitive Enterprise Institute analyst and risk expert Angela Logomasini is available for comment.
This week, a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that American school children are facing increased risks from pesticides. Meanwhile communities around the nation may be ready to spray pesticides to control potential outbreaks of the West Nile virus. Yesterday, Fairfax County, Virginia reported the first discovery of mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus this year.
Given these events, observers can be sure to hear protests from anti-chemical activists to halt the use of pesticides— but the public should must be careful not to fall for the hype. "For decades, environmentalists have been trying to scare the public about pesticides, when in fact pesticides pose little risk when used properly and are a critical part of controlling disease outbreaks and pest-related risks at schools," said Angela Logomasini, CEI’s Director of Risk and Environmental Policy.
West Nile Virus is transmitted by mosquitoes; and, in addition to humans, the disease also affects birds, horses, and other animals. West Nile first appeared in the northeastern U.S. in 1999 and by last year had spread to almost every state.
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