Downtown Manhattan, Washington Square Park to be Sprayed with Toxic Pesticides Wed. Sept. 28th

I wrote two weeks ago about the tragedy of the pesticide spraying of Central Park, not realizing that Washington Square Park was next. Washington Square Park does not use pesticides within the park. Now, the birds, bees, squirrels, insects, trees, ecosystem, including natural predators of the mosquito, who cannot escape the spray trucks, will be doused with toxic pesticides this evening, Wednesday, September 28th, beginning at some point between 8:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. Thursday morning 9/29. It’s no better for us humans who will breathe it in or those who will unknowingly be walking the streets as the spray truck comes whizzing by with its toxic plume. Neighborhoods include: all of Greenwich Village, Lower East Side, Bowery, Chinatown, Financial District, Little Italy, Noho, Nolita, Tribeca, South Street Seaport & more.

From The No Spray Coalition:

The pesticide spraying program in New York City aiming to kill mosquitos said to be carrying West Nile virus began in 1999 under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani – who gave daily, ludicrous updates from his World Trade Center bunker – and continues three mayors later with Mayor Eric Adams.

The pyrethroid pesticides being sprayed have been shown to be harmful to human health and the health of the eco-system, including animals, birds, wildlife, insects, and more. These pesticides kill off natural predators of mosquitoes, including dragonflies and bats. The spraying will occur by truck with pesticides fogged from the back of it.

Since its inception, this spray “program” to kill mosquitoes said to be carrying West Nile virus has never been properly reviewed by any city agency despite the continued use of toxic, harmful, and carcinogenic chemicals over the city’s population and environment.

The city is spraying pyrethroid pesticides, Anvil® 10+10 or Duet®, equally harmful, containing not only synthetic sumithrin but cancer-causing piperonyl butoxide.

In 2021, a new pesticides bill passed the New York City Council unanimously. It was intended to reduce the use of pesticides. Yet the NYC Department of Health continues to issue to itself waivers due to the provisions of the City’s anti-pesticides laws, thereby setting into motion the spraying of toxic pesticides in residential areas and public parks and streets.

The last few years have been especially brutal, as people fight to protect their lungs and respiratory systems from the Covid-19 virus, only to come under attack by the City’s poisonous spraying.

At the same time, there is no evidence presented that the City’s pesticide spraying has prevented West Nile disease (encephalitis). The risk of contracting West Nile Virus is very low, certainly not worth putting the entire population at significant risk and harming human health, wildlife, animals, beneficial insects, and our environment.

In fact, there is no evidence that the number of mosquitoes, let alone those that carry West Nile virus, has EVER been diminished by pesticide spraying. That may seem counterintuitive, but in fact studies show that mosquitoes come back after spraying in larger numbers than before, and many are now resistant to the pesticides. Meanwhile, the pesticides not only cause cancer and disrupt the endocrine system, but greatly reduced sperm counts — all follow in the wake of the pesticides.

In 2000, Joel Kupferman of the New York Environmental Law & Justice Project, in conjunction with Pace Environmental Law Clinic, filed a lawsuit against the spraying with the No Spray Coalition as lead plaintiff. The No Spray Coalition was joined by Beyond Pesticides, Disabled in Action, and Save Organic Standards as co-Plaintiffs.

In 2006, a federal judge ruled that the City of New York was in violation of the Clean Water Act, and by 2007, having lost its key points in the case, the City was compelled to negotiate a settlement with the No Spray Coalition.

Yet to this date the city of New York sprays on.


As part of the 2007 decision in the No Spray Coalition’s lawsuit, the City admitted, signed and in writing, stipulated that the pesticides:

  • may remain in the environment beyond their intended purpose
  • cause adverse health effects
  • kill mosquitoes’ natural predators (such as dragonflies, bats, frogs and birds)
  • increase mosquitoes’ resistance to the sprays, and
  • are not approved for direct application to waterways.


Action Alert from Beyond Pesticides & No Spray Coalition to NYC Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan: Click here to Stop Mosquito Pesticide Spraying!

More information here at No Spray Coalition: Downtown Manhattan to be Sprayed with Toxic Pesticides Wed. Sept. 28th – Includes Chinatown, Greenwich Village, Tribeca, Lower East Side, More

Department of Health Spray Page

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