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Where have all the bees gone?

To the Editor:

With regards to the Jan. 8 letter to the editor titled “Pesticides are very safe when applied correctly,” I applaud the professionalism with which J1 Services approaches their responsibility to follow the rules when spraying for beetles.

It’s true if everyone followed the rules, the application of these pesticides would be safer, but without anyone monitoring or enforcing this situation, often profit comes before safety.

Folks, they’re not spraying apple juice. They’re spraying neurotoxins. The EPA does not allow manufacturers to describe these chemicals as “safe.” The term that can be used by the manufacturers is “non-toxic.”

The term “non-toxic” means it has a rating of less than Lc50. LC stands for “Lethal Concentration.” The concentration of the chemical in air that kills 50 percent of the test subjects in a given time (usually four hours) is the LC50 value.

Companies have been fined for calling their pesticide products “safe.” Comments such as these in the media foster in the public a false sense of security with regard to pesticide products.

As with all pesticides, there is a trade off. Often the target insect is killed, but there are hundreds of other non-target insects that are affected, which affect the food chain.

These neurotoxins are cumulative in fish and algae. In people they affect the immune system. Children and pets are more at risk from these chemicals and they are extremely dangerous around water. Honey bee populations are particularly at risk.

There are, as I have told the county commissioners, alternatives to spraying that are just as effective, cost the same, and don’t drift. Arborjet.com is one of these alternatives. It is an injection system that targets the pine beetle. It is a product that is in registration with the EPA and should be approved in six months; however, an emergency use permit (section 18) can be issued by the state in 30-60 days.

As I was reminded, letters to the editor are opinions and not facts. Check out these chemicals, carbaryl and permetherin, for yourself at http://www.beyondpesticides.org.

Lenny Brooks

Grand Lake


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