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NEWS: West Nile Virus

Health Questions Raised With Moore Mosquito Spraying

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The bug blasting machine cost the city of Moore about $8,000. The bug blasting machine cost the city of Moore about $8,000.
MOORE, Oklahoma -

The city of Moore is sending out trucks with greater frequency to spray for mosquitos. That's the way they've battled the bugs for five years, but some are wondering if the spray does more harm than good.

The bug-blasting machine cost the city of Moore about $8,000. Public Works Director Richard Sandifur says the chemicals calm concerns and kills mosquitoes.

8/16/12 Related Story: City, County Leaders Workout West Nile Plan

"It's really for flying insects like flies and mosquitoes, and it's diluted so much and it goes through a pressure and it goes in with water so it puts out a really fine mist," Sandifur said.

But is it harmful to humans?

"If you ever take Raid and spray on a bug, they basically drop to the ground. That is what they are designed to do, " Assistant SMU professor Brian Zoltowski said.

8/16/2012 Related Story: Another Death Linked To West Nile Virus In Oklahoma

"We are going under the assumption that this will not be harmful for a mother or unborn child," Dr. Beth Stevenson said.  

Sandifur says it's unlikely, and the city takes precautions to protect people in Moore.

"If someone is walking by and it's on that, we flip the switch and turn it off. And when we get past them we turn it back on," said Sandifur.

People who are concerned about the chemical being used should avoid being outside when the city is spraying. If the pesticide gets on your skin or clothes, wash them with soap and water. Rinse homegrown fruits and vegetables and cover fish ponds.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns the chemicals are toxic to fish and bees. They say the chemicals are only harmful to people and pets if swallowed.

8/16/2012 Related Story: Take Precautions, Don't Worry About West Nile, Medical Expert Says

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