About Rich
Board of Health
Fluoride Choice

Mosquito-borne Diseases - To Spray or Not to Spray?


Diseases carried by mosquitoes can present serious public health concerns. Every year we hear reports in the media about Massachusetts residents being diagnosed with insect-borne diseases such as EEE. Fortunately, such cases are usually rare and isolated.

The question faced by local health officials each year is whether or not to spray the environment to kill mosquitoes when a case of EEE is confirmed.

Due to the health risks associated with spraying toxic chemicals on a human population, health boards must do a careful risk/benefit analysis before choosing whether or not to spray.

If elected to the Franklin Board of Health, my first inclination, before resorting to the "nuclear option" of spraying our neighborhoods with toxins, would be to educate residents about the potential danger if a mosquito-related diagnosis is made. There are several effective ways to prevent mosquito bites and these steps should be taken before we unleash toxins over our community. Franklin health officials have at their disposal the Reverse 911 phone calling system to alert parents if/when the need arises.

Spraying our community with poisons should be a very last resort, done only in the most dire of health emergencies.

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