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E-M:/ West Nile Pesticides will enter our homes, pesticide drift a muchworse problem than State of Michigan employees will admit.

In Michigan residents are told pesticide drift from the Gypsy Moth suppression program is no more than ten (10) feet
by employees of MSU, MSU Extension , MDA, and local "Gypsy Moth Coordinators", Praxis has this on video and audio tape.  This is not factually correct, this and other pesticide "safety" rhetoric is false and misleading, inconstant with EPA label information.  However, it is commonly made apparently to help market the pesticide spray programs in Michigan.  We have been told there is nothing the Federal government including Region 5 EPA or the EPA Pesticide Enforcement Division in Washington can do to fix this, is this really true?
Samuel DeFazio
2723 116th Ave
Allegan, MI  49010    616-673-2793

Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 109, Number 1, January 2001

Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Airborne Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki during an Aerial Spray Program for Gypsy Moth Eradication
Kay Teschke,1,2 Yat Chow,2 Karen Bartlett,2 Andrew Ross,2 and Chris van Netten1,2

1Department of Health Care and Epidemiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2School of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

We measured airborne exposures to the biological insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk) during an aerial spray program to eradicate gypsy moths on the west coast of Canada. We aimed to determine whether staying indoors during spraying reduced exposures, to determine the rate of temporal decay of airborne concentrations, and to determine whether drift occurred outside the spray zone. During spraying, the average culturable airborne Btk concentration measured outdoors within the spray zone was 739 colony-forming units (CFU)/m3 of air. Outdoor air concentrations decreased over time, quickly in an initial phase with a half time of 3.3 hr, and then more slowly over the following 9 days, with an overall half-time of about 2.4 days. Inside residences during spraying, average concentrations were initially 2-5 times lower than outdoors, but at 5-6 hr after spraying began, indoor concentrations exceeded those outdoors, with an average of 244 CFU/m3 vs. 77 CFU/m3 outdoors, suggesting that the initial benefits of remaining indoors during spraying may not persist as outside air moves indoors with normal daily activities. There was drift of culturable Btk throughout a 125- to 1,000-meter band outside the spray zone where measurements were made, a consequence of the fine aerosol sizes that remained airborne (count median diameters of 4.3 to 7.2 µm). Btk concentrations outside the spray zone were related to wind speed and direction, but not to distance from the spray zone. Key words: environmental exposure, environmental monitoring, insecticides, particle size, pesticide drift, pesticides. Environ Health Perspect 109:47-54 (2001). [Online 12 December 2000]


Address correspondence to K. Teschke, Department of Health Care and Epidemiology, Mather Building, 5804 Fairview Avenue, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada. Telephone: (604) 822-2041. Fax: (604) 822-4994. E-mail: teschke@interchange.ubc.ca
We thank the study participants for welcoming study personnel into their homes before dawn; M. Pearce and C. Bender for making logistic arrangements; and the sampling personnel for their willingness to change plans according to vicissitudes of aerial spray schedules. This study was funded in part by the Capital Health Region.

Received 20 June 2000; accepted 7 September 2000.

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Last Updated: December 12, 2000