By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
"After years of internal debate, the agency may be poised to classify malathion as a possible cancer-causing agent," according to the Tampa Tribune. Steve Johnson, an EPA pesticide administrator, told the paper: "Malathion is part of a chemical class that has been identified by the agency as one of the riskiest classes of chemicals" In Florida, health officials pinpointed 123 malathion poisoning incidents in spraying to eradicate the medfly.
In South Los Angeles, where in 198990 California sprayed malathion during a medfly infestation, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a 15-year-old boy got "caught in a gooey downpour" from the helicopters, and became sick. His family contends that his vision started to fade, and two months later he was legally blind. In Arizona a homeowner reportedly sprayed malathion in his garden and it drifted into the ventilation system of the school next door. Over the next few days 300 elementary school children were hospitalized for headaches, nausea, and trouble breathing.
The Journal of Pesticide Reform reported that studies suggest malathion can cause mutations in white blood cells, which may have "serious human health implications," adding that damage to the immune system may make people "more prone to bacterial, viral or parasitic infections, or possibly increased tumor formations."
The city has announced that it intends to spray 3000 gallons of malathion at a rate of three ounces per acre. But the California Department of Health Services, which has dealt extensively with malathion, says that no more than 2.4 ounces per acre should ever be applied. That means New York is spraying 25 percent more malathion than is recommended by California's experts.
Of course, the homeless are sitting ducks.
Even though the late Dr. Seuss was a left-leaning liberal, drawing cartoons in PM during the 1930s and opposing the America First Committee during the New Deal, all was not lost. A recent report issued by the Center
for Libertarian Studies finds a message for Libertarians in Seuss's book Yertle the Turtle.
According to the report, the tale "can be read as an allegory of the rise and fall of a state."
Additional reporting: Kate Cortesi