West Nile fears take flight in Brooklyn

August 7th, 2003

To the Editor,

You might have calmed those fears expressed by Brooklyn residents in this story had your reporter mentioned the studies done on bird deaths in recent years by experts in the Audobon Society. They found the vast majority of bird deaths were NOT due to WNV. The bird deaths were due to actions taken by the residents of our fair city!

Analysis showed that most had signs of pesticide poisoning from lawn chemicals used so abundantly and without regard for the resulting contamination of the yards where children play and birds feed. It is most revealing that the most popular lawn chemicals of the past decade are being taken off of the market now, after causing untold harm to us, as the EPA finally acknowledges that they are simply too dangerous to a large segment of the population.

I am one of many persons missing an enzyme which helps the body to detoxify these poisons. I am not able to walk the streets any longer during lawn spraying season without risking serious illness. I cannot avail myself of city parks and lovely residential neighborhoods near golf courses (which will continue to be permitted to use these pesticides/herbicides for some time in order to create toxic green carpets for golfers). I can become ill while driving along a highway where the median or the shoulders have been poisoned in attempts to remove that terrifying threat to society called …the “dandelion”.

West Nile Virus is a minute threat compared to the risks to us all in maintaining our gardens, homes and offices. The use of pesticides indoors, where the lack of sunlight prevents a more rapid breakdown of the ingredients, increases the risks of toxic reactions which are rarely identified by the undereducated medical profession. You may be told you have the flu or a 24 hour virus and pay for the exposure in later months/years with neurological problems or severe allergies/sensitivities.

Brooklyn residents deserve to hear all the facts – Please, NY Post, print them.

Barbara Rubin

Categories: NY Post

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