Ethan A. Huff
August 15, 2016
Many Floridians are apparently in panic mode over the possibility of contracting Zika virus, with new reports indicating that municipalities throughout the Miami area are busying spraying insecticide over neighborhoods day in and day out to quell public fears. But the insecticide they’re using, known as “Naled,” is an organophosphate chemical that, ironically enough, is linked to the very same symptoms and health outcomes as Zika itself.
CBS Miami reported just the other day that the popular Miami neighborhood of Wynwood, an artsy tourist destination, is seeing planes regularly spray Naled over homes, businesses and parks. People just aren’t coming to Wynwood anymore because they’re scared of getting bitten by a mosquito that might be harboring Zika, so public health officials are resorting to carpet-bombing the area with chemicals, with the hope of bringing folks back to the downtown business district, which is quickly becoming a ghost town.
Local business owners say they’re seeing few, if any customers, even on the weekend, and local residents say they’re just not willing to take what they believe is a huge risk by going outside, eating at restaurants and socializing with others in public places. One pregnant women from the area by the name of Leslie Isaza, deeply concerned about what Zika might do to her unborn baby, had this to say to reporters:
“My one job is to protect this baby. I can’t get bit by a mosquito.”
“My biggest concern is, the most fearful thing is, I don’t want to have a child with some of the severe cerebral defects that are being talked about, including microcephaly,” said another pregnant mom, Leah Acero.
Their sentiments are valid, perhaps, assuming that what we’re all being told about Zika is even true. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn’t seem to think Zika is all that big of a deal, though. And while a very small percentage of Zika cases manifest with the types of symptoms many are worried about, the vast majority don’t even show symptoms at all. While taking sensible precautions to avoid mosquito exposure makes sense, fear seems to be driving people to unnecessary extremes.
Naled far worse than Zika, agricultural consultant warns
A much bigger concern, and one not even covered by CBS Miami, is the threat of Naled, which is linked to causing respiratory problems, hypotension, incontinence, gastrointestinal disorders, blurred vision and excessive sweating. In more severe cases, Naled can cause tremors, seizures, coma, convulsions, paralysis, cancers of the thyroid, breasts, ovaries, esophagus, kidneys and colon, leukemia and even death.
A product of the AMVAC Chemical Corporation, Naled is listed as having many health effects, both chronic and acute, making it more dangerous than Zika, which typically has mild effects. And unlike Zika, exposure to Naled does not confer lifelong immunity to Naled – Naled is dangerous every single time, and could become more dangerous over time, as it builds up in a person’s system.
“The most common and worst application of Naled is aerial because its toxicity increases up to 20-fold this way and it can drift up to 1/2-mile,” says Sadhu Govardhan of Govardhan Gardens in Puerto Rico, another area where Zika is said to be a major threat.
“Naled has been found to be highly toxic for fish, birds and beneficial insects, especially bees. Unlike most other insecticides, Naled even interferes with the photosynthesis of plants and therefore causes damage in our flora. … In short, the toxic, acute and chronic, long-term effects of Naled on humans and nature are horrendous—by far worse than the virus it is used to prevent.”
Sources for this article include: