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monsoon

Foray 48B

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If you live in many parts of Charlotte this is the name of the pesticide the city is going to spray all over your property in an attempt to control the canker worms that have infested Charlotte's sick and aging Willow Oak population. While the Charlotte Observer has simply printed that Foray 48B poses no risk (wonder if they bothered to actually check up on it) there is plenty of evidence that it does cause problems and that warnings about not using it on farms were removed a few years ago without the supporting evidence to allow for it.

If you live in an infested are you will not be given any choice in the manner as the city plans to spray your property with this pesticide and most likely will only give an indication in the paper where it is spraying. Other governments and states have questioned the use of this substance and if you are interested you can view the risks and questions here. Does it mean that you should stay out of your yard? What are the "inert" ingredients that will be sprayed onto your yard? What about effects on pets and kids?

There are also studies that would suggest that spraying with this substance can make the infestations even worse. Check into Foray 48B for yourself. The media so far has let us down on this subject.

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This is rather unsettling news. Dilworth is ground zero for canker woes. This reminds of growing up on Hilton Head and hearing the pesticide trucks driving around Sea Pines in the middle of the night spraying for mosquitos. They finally stopped when people complained about public health and environmental concerns. I always thought they just did it for the tourists.

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Indeed.

New Zealand study on Foray48B. The link takes you to a short-term study on the effects of spraying Foray 48B in New Zealand. The short term effects seemed minimal, although headaches, irritated throats, and problems sleeping seemed to go way up.

Another good website to go to is the No Spay Zone, which has plenty of info about Foray 48B, including the material data sheet, the label, and links to a list of the inert ingredients.

It seems that the long-term exposure risks aren't known, but that it's fairly benign for short-term usage. Still...

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^Hmm. That site says the following "Inerts of unknown toxicity. Inert ingredients on this list have not yet been determined to be of known potential toxicological concern nor have they been determined to be of minimal concern. " The manufacturer(s) refuse to identify exactly what these substances might be, but this is cause for concern from that site.

What should I do during the spraying?

Even though the spray is considered safe for humans, we recommend that people stay indoors during spraying, unless it is essential to be outdoors. You should be advised in advance by the Department of Agriculture when spraying will occur, so you may plan accordingly. This is general advice for the public. If you or someone in your home has a medical problem that they believe may be made worse by the spraying, talk to your health care provider.

If your drinking water source is from open surface water (e.g., creeks, streams, springs) and you are concerned about potential exposure, you may wish to shut off the intake during the spray and until you are satisfied that any water exposed to the spray has moved downstream of your intake. Alternative water sources in the interim might include previously stored and covered water on site, bottled water, or water from a neighbor outside the sprayed area.

To avoid exposure, we recommend:

* Staying indoors during and for at least 30 minutes after spraying to allow droplets to settle.

* Waiting until the spray has dried before touching grass or shrubs. Cover playground equipment, sandboxes, benches, and lawn chairs before the spray or hose them off afterward.

* Washing exposed skin with soap and water if direct contact with the spray droplets occurs. If the material should get into your eyes, flush with water for 15 minutes.

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Obviously, it's best to just read entire articles to get all the info. But, in the interest of fair debate, and for those just browsing the thread who may be concerned after monsoon's carefully selected quote which supported his side:

Can Btk make people sick?

Btk has an excellent safety record for humans. If you eat vegetables, you probably have already ingested this bacterium. It is commonly used on commercial, and even organic, produce. The safety has been established both by laboratory research and monitoring people in the areas of the U.S., Canada and New Zealand where it has been used for more than 25 years.

Evidence to support this includes:

Eighteen human volunteers suffered no illness from swallowing 1 gm of Btk each day for five days.

Five human volunteers suffered no illness from inhaling 100 mg of Btk each day for five days.

B.t. has been used for gypsy moth and other moth control since the 1950's. No harmful effects have been reported among residents of the sprayed communities.

Laboratory animals exposed to Btk by feeding, breathing, injection through the skin, and application into abrasions were not harmed by the exposures.

The only reports of harmful effects from Btk are:

One farmer who splashed a Btk solution directly into his eye experienced a corneal ulcer. This healed after antibiotic treatment.

Mice with impaired immune systems died after exposure to a very concentrated culture of Btk.

People without a direct exposure to the material are unlikely to have any symptoms. However, some people working directly with Btk spray for long periods of time have had mild skin irritation or short term breathing problems. After a thorough review of the toxicity of Btk products, including both active and inert ingredients, the U.S. EPA, Health Canada, the World Health Organization, and many other groups have found it safe and effective for aerial applications when used according to label directions.

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Correct. I, along with the EPA and WHO, believe Btk is harmless enough to be used for spraying to eliminate certain kinds of pests.

I'm not going to say it's completely harmless, because nothing is 100% risk-free. However, I believe the risks involved with not spraying (weakened trees which are far more likely to cause injury by falling branches, or entire trees toppling over) are potentially much more hazardous than the risks involved with spraying (some people may experience some irritation, primarily if they walk outside during the spraying).

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What should I do during the spraying?

Even though the spray is considered safe for humans, we recommend that people stay indoors during spraying, unless it is essential to be outdoors. You should be advised in advance by the Department of Agriculture when spraying will occur, so you may plan accordingly. This is general advice for the public. If you or someone in your home has a medical problem that they believe may be made worse by the spraying, talk to your health care provider.

If your drinking water source is from open surface water (e.g., creeks, streams, springs) and you are concerned about potential exposure, you may wish to shut off the intake during the spray and until you are satisfied that any water exposed to the spray has moved downstream of your intake. Alternative water sources in the interim might include previously stored and covered water on site, bottled water, or water from a neighbor outside the sprayed area.

To avoid exposure, we recommend:

* Staying indoors during and for at least 30 minutes after spraying to allow droplets to settle.

* Waiting until the spray has dried before touching grass or shrubs. Cover playground equipment, sandboxes, benches, and lawn chairs before the spray or hose them off afterward.

* Washing exposed skin with soap and water if direct contact with the spray droplets occurs. If the material should get into your eyes, flush with water for 15 minutes.

This from a site that is supportive of the stuff. :scared:

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Agent Orange and DDT were thought safe at one point. (I know Agent Orange was a defoliant, not an insecticide, but the principal is the same.)

I know when I lived in Sumter SC as a kid, the city used to drive huge trucks around on summer evenings spraying for mosquitoes. The trucks sprayed out so much it was like watching a fog bank rolling in. I don't know if it had any long lasting effects on me or others, but after living in Sumter I often ended up at the pediatrician's office with bronchitis infections. To this day, I am still very susceptible to lung problems, including a severe bout of pneumonia which left me hospitalized for 11 days. I obviously don't know if the 2 are directly related, but in my mind I've always wondered.

Anyway, I have real doubts about the wisdom of spewing toxic chemicals into the environment. As the saying goes in human medicine-First, do no harm. I doubt that this latest chemical stew is as benign as they think it is.

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Anyway, I have real doubts about the wisdom of spewing toxic chemicals into the environment. As the saying goes in human medicine-First, do no harm. I doubt that this latest chemical stew is as benign as they think it is.

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If you have eaten Organic Brocoli purchased from your local grocery or farmers market and didnt have any adverse reactions then you should be fine during the sprayings.

If farmers can spray their Brocoli crops with Foray 48B and still leagally claim that it is Organic Brocoli...then I think we will be ok.

I lived in Charlotte the last 2 times they sprayed and somehow I have managed to survive inhaling this organic compound. I also managed to survive uncscathed last week when I ate some Brocoli that was laced with Foray 48B.

Personally I am more concerned about the toxic fumes that come out of our cars, buses, trains, and industrial plants.

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I still remember that mosquito spray smell and the sound of the trucks as they drove through my neighborhood as a kid.

I'm rather torn about this issue. I'm not sure that I want to deal with the short term health effects that may arise to me or my pets but I also live in a neighborhood where people don't put forth the effort to band their trees.

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They used to broadcast a poison called myrex from planes in a futile attempt to control the fire an population in coastal SC. Later they found the chemical was causing widespread ecological damage to the environment even though the government said it was safe. Like DDT it is now a banned substance and they can't spray it anymore.

Aside from that, nobody knows what the other 98% of the spray contains as the industry that makes it is not require to reveal what it is. I don't know how anyone can claim it is "safe". Like the experience with Myrex and DDT nobody really know unless it is openly tested or until health problems result.

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When I first found out about these worms and the sprayings I was thinking about splitting town for a day or two when they decided to spray... but after reading the background info on this "Bt" stuff, I'm not particularly concerned about it. The pesticide appears to be more enzyme-based than chemical/poison based. Its been around since the 60s, and there have been no side effects detected yet that concern me. Plus the last few times it was used around here didn't seem to make any difference as far as the health of humans (I know lots of people who didn't die last year).

The most legitimate argument against this stuff that I can see is that it could (and probably will) kill off other butterflies and moths that aren't a problem, all of which could impact the bird population due to less food... but even thats a bit of a stretch, given how bad the infestation supposedly is (I have yet to witness one).

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I'm really concerned that the Observer simply referred to it as an 'organic pesticide'. I interpretted that meant a pesticide approved under the USDA Organic rules or something, which meant to me that it wasn't toxic. That is bogus, and someone should likely get in trouble if they are using that term lightly and falsely.

However, I run a few nights a week downtown and usually end up coughing the rest of the night and have a terrible taste in my mouth from the air. I also walk to work down Tryon Street each day and get to watch truck's idling for deliveries and one a month (today was one) when an army of gas leaf blowers were being used to push the few dozen leaves left on the ground. (Who in the world thinks those are worth doing during rush hour?), I often end up with coughs for a little while each morning.

I'm not making light of being sprayed with pesticides, but I think it is just one of our many pollution and toxicity problems around here. Why can't the f'n US government just ban all chemicals that have not been proven safe like the EU?! It is absurd to think of what we are exposed to without even a glimmer of thought placed on whether it is okay or not.

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.... Why can't the f'n US government just ban all chemicals that have not been proven safe like the EU?! It is absurd to think of what we are exposed to without even a glimmer of thought placed on whether it is okay or not.

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Aside from that, nobody knows what the other 98% of the spray contains as the industry that makes it is not require to reveal what it is. I don't know how anyone can claim it is "safe". Like the experience with Myrex and DDT nobody really know unless it is openly tested or until health problems result.

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^Well that isn't the case. Different manufacturers use different formulations and they don't have to reveal what those formulations are. For all we know, this stuff could be manufactured in China now and we all know what that means. The bottom line is the city of Charlotte is spraying a chemical pesticide, with unknown ingredients, on the heads of its residents, and even the most supportive of sites indicate that you need to stay out of it and cover up areas that are frequented by children and pets.

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But they have done tests and found it was safe to use. And it's been used on the public for 50+ years, with no harm done. If it wasn't safe, surely there would be some effects after 50 years, especially given how widely used the spray is. When used properly, according to the instructions on the label, it is safe. The same goes for any number of household cleaners and insecticides, many of which are much more toxic than 48B. Many things can be deemed "unsafe" when used improperly. That would seem to be the key issue here--to ensure the spraying is carried out correctly. There are 50+ years of testing and real-world usage to support that. There seems to little--if any--evidence to support the theory that 48B is unsafe. So, until such evidence comes to light, it seems perfectly reasonable to consider 48B safe, given it's extensive use over the past several decades.

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even the most supportive of sites indicate that you need to stay out of it

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Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki the active ingredient in Foray 48B is one of the most commonly applied insecticides used for control of forest insects in the US, mainly in the control of gypsy moth over urban areas. Several million acres have been treated over the last decade without ill effects to persons exposed to the spray.

The opening tread of this discussion gave a link to an old anti-spray document that has been often posted and shown to be very inaccurate. As we all need to be aware, just because it

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^You asked for advice from a qualified source since you didn't put much stock in what I had to say. So when I provided said information from a group that did research on the topic now you choose to discount that as well. It would seem to me that you really are not that interested in hearing anything realistic on the subject.

It amazes me the city arborist would choose to ignore the fact that these methods have shown not to work and the results in Charlotte speak for themselves. The only sure fire way to reduce the threat of these cankerworms is to change the unhealthy situation that is allowing them to flourish in the first place. These efforts are only prolonging the inevitable, and are short sighted IMO, because when these trees all die at once, the area is going to be pretty barren for decades.

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Btk's toxic properties are activated by the caterpillar's alkaline gut. As humans and most other animals have an acidic gut, there is no activation of any toxins. This is one reason Btk is desirable for control in urban settings over other registered insecticides.

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