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Feb 10 - Help us take the toxics out of mosquito control!

Updated: Feb 3, 2022

Every summer, mosquito season rolls around in Massachusetts - and every summer, the state sprays toxic pesticides from the air and from the roads in an attempt to decrease the risk of mosquito-borne disease, poisoning other organisms and endangering public health along the way.

The nature of Massachusetts' ecology makes it extremely hard to spray pesticides without contaminating waterways, even though pesticide applicators say they "avoid wetlands." This practice endangers aquatic wildlife and can bioaccumulate up the food chain. In addition, application of the pesticide the state has historically used for aerial spraying, Anvil 10+10, was recently found to contain PFAS, a class of "forever chemicals" that don't easily break down in nature and pose serious health risks to humans. The source of that contamination has since been identified and eliminated, but it's a reminder that there is no system in place to ensure PFAS is not in other mosquito control pesticides

All this spraying is a relic of a 1918 law, and occurs year after year without scientific evidence that this approach actually decreases the risk of mosquito-borne disease.

The good news: there are alternative mosquito control methods that avoid pesticide spraying that are safer for plants, animals, pollinators, people, and our water supply.

The Mosquito Control for the Twenty-First Century Task Force (including Mass Rivers Executive Director Julia Blatt, who is a member) was tasked by the legislature to study the state's current approach and recommend a new and improved management structure by March 2022. Now, the Task Force is ready to present draft recommendations on various aspects of mosquito management.

On February 10, 2022 from 4 - 6 PM the Task Force will hold a public listening session to receive comments on these draft recommendations.

That's where you come in! Join us in advocating for more responsible, less toxic mosquito management for our state. Public participation is crucial to developing a new system that protects public health while maintaining healthy ecosystems.

The draft recommendations are posted online, and will be updated as new documents emerge. As of February 2, the Task Force has posted: