U.S. Air Force Sprays Harvey-stricken Texas with Naled, a classified Neurotoxin

Valhalla Editorial Note:

The Description of Naled (Dibrom), the organophosphate insecticide being sprayed over Texas is as follows.. 

Naled is moderately to highly toxic by ingestion, inhalation and dermal adsorption. Vapors or fumes of naled are corrosive to the mucous membranes lining the mouth, throat and lungs, and inhalation may cause severe irritation (9). A sensation of tightness in the chest and coughing are commonly experienced after inhalation (14). As with all organophosphates, naled is readily absorbed through the skin. Persons with respiratory ailments, recent exposure to cholinesterase inhibitors, impaired cholinesterase production, or with liver malfunction may be at increased risk from exposure to naled. High environmental temperatures or exposure of naled to visible or UV light may enhance its toxicity (9).

The organophosphate insecticides are cholinesterase inhibitors. They are highly toxic by all routes of exposure. When inhaled, the first effects are usually respiratory and may include bloody or runny nose, coughing, chest discomfort, difficult or short breath, and wheezing due to constriction or excess fluid in the bronchial tubes. Skin contact with organophosphates may cause localized sweating and involuntary muscle contractions. Eye contact will cause pain, bleeding, tears, pupil constriction, and blurred vision. Following exposure by any route, other systemic effects may begin within a few minutes or be delayed for up to 12 hours. These may include pallor, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, dizziness, eye pain, blurred vision, constriction or dilation of the eye pupils, tears, salivation, sweating, and confusion. Severe poisoning will affect the central nervous system, producing incoordination, slurred speech, loss of reflexes, weakness, fatigue, involuntary muscle contractions, twitching, tremors of the tongue or eyelids, and eventually paralysis of the body extremities and the respiratory muscles. In severe cases there may also be involuntary defecation or urination, psychosis, irregular heart beats, unconsciousness, convulsions and coma. Death may be caused by respiratory failure or cardiac arrest (9).

Some organophosphates may cause delayed symptoms beginning 1 to 4 weeks after an acute exposure which may or may not have produced more immediate symptoms. In such cases, numbness, tingling, weakness and cramping may appear in the lower limbs and progress to incoordination and paralysis. Improvement may occur over months or years, but some residual impairment may remain in some cases (9).

Naled may cause dermatitis (skin rashes) and skin sensitization (allergies) (2, 6). It is corrosive to the skin and eyes and may cause permanent damage (3). An aerial applicator developed contact dermatitis after using Dibrom. The exposed area became red and felt burned. Later, water filled blisters formed. They became itchy and dry, then flaked off (ACGIH TLVS 4th Ed. & Supplement. 1980).

Source: Cornell University


US Air Force sprays Harvey-stricken Texas with controversial chemicals

Vehicles on Interstate 10 navigate through flood waters caused by Tropical Storm Harvey in Vidor, Texas, U.S. August 31, 2017. © Adrees Latif / Reuters


The US Air Force is spraying 6 million acres in Texas with potentially harmful insecticides, as the state tries to rid itself of swarms of mosquitoes nesting in flooded areas after Hurricane Harvey.

The work began this past weekend with the military using low-flying C-130 cargo planes to douse three counties with Naled, an organophosphate (OP) insecticide, according to Reuters.

“Due to the large amount of standing, polluted water, populations of pest insects that can transmit diseases are increasing significantly,” Captain Jeff Kelly, Air Force spokesman said in a statement. “This poses a health risk to rescue workers and residents of Houston.”

It’s intended that the spraying will prevent mosquito-borne diseases and prevent emergency response slowdowns by workers inundated by biting insects.

Hurricane Harvey, which began as a Category 4 storm, dumped more than 40 inches (1,000 mm) of rain on parts of Texas over the course of four days. The resulting floods affected hundreds of thousands of homes, displacing more than 30,000 people and prompting more than 17,000 rescues.

Naled, a neurotoxin sold under the brand name Dibrom, works by killing an enzyme in insects and leads to overstimulating the nervous system, causing nausea, dizziness and confusion and at high exposure, respiratory paralysis and death.

 In this Sept. 13, 2005 file photo, a military C-130 plane sprays pesticide over Hurricane Katrina damaged parts of New Orleans. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the Air Force is considering budget cuts that could affect eight C-130 Hercules planes now based in North Texas for the Texas Air National Guard. Those planes could be moved in two years to Great Falls, Mont. Those planes could be moved in two years to Great Falls, Mont. (AP Photo/Brian Snyder, Pool, File)

Naled has been widely used in the US since 1950, but it was prohibited for use by by the European Union in 2012 over concerns it might affect human health.

“The scenarios evaluated in the human health risk assessment as well as in the environmental risk assessment showed a potential and unacceptable risk,” the EU wrote about its decision.

The UN classifies the insecticide as a 6.1 inhalation hazard.

However, the USCenters for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Environmental Protection Agency support the use of the insecticide and say that small amounts don’t expose people enough to pose a health concern. The US Air Force agrees.

“The system disperses droplets small enough to land on a mosquito’s wing, using less than one ounce of naled per acre. That’s less than one shot glass for an area the size of a football field,”an Air Force spokesperson said.

Naled is used elsewhere in the US, with health departments spraying about one million pounds on 16 million acres each year – especially after disasters like hurricanes and flooding –  to curb mosquitos. About 70 percent is used for pest control, while around 30 percent is used in agriculture for cotton production in California and Louisiana, on alfalfa in Idaho and Oregon, and on grapes in California.

The military has used its aerial spray missions before, following the 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which heavily damaged the Gulf Coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Though the US government considers naled safe, experts have found potentially dangerous side effects.

In 2016, naled spraying caused millions on honeybee deaths in South Carolina. It is now understood that it is better to spray during dawn and dusk, when bees are normally in their hives.

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) states that long-term impacts of Naled exposure can be serious — particularly for children — as it is a hormone disruptor and a reproductive and developmental toxin.

Many studies have also linked prenatal exposure to OP pesticides to neurological harms, including increased risk of autism and reduced IQ levels, as it may cross the placenta if it is in the bloodstream of a mammal.

In 2016, a study from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley found that when pregnant mothers live within one kilometer of fields where certain pesticides are used, their children are more likely to have lower IQs.

Other species are also affected. A University of Florida zoologist, Tom Emmel, studied areas in Florida where the regular mosquito spraying occurred with Dibrom and another insecticide. He found a “major loss” in insect diversity in sprayed sites with wasps showing “some of the most dramatic drops in species diversity, whereas scale insects increased.”

Naled is also considered moderately toxic to birds and most aquatic life.The mule deer, however, is among those most resistant to its effects.


Article from Rt.com

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