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Turbo19

Some L.A. County bus drivers say pesticides are making them ill

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14 Metropolitan Transportation Authority drivers are pursuing workers' comp claims, and 110 have signed a petition to halt the agency's spraying of the vehicles.

 

Los Angeles County bus drivers say they are regularly becoming ill — sometimes while behind the wheel — from pesticides sprayed inside their vehicles by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

 

At least 14 Metro drivers are pursuing workers' compensation claims, and more than 110 have signed a petition that demands a halt to the spraying, according to their attorney. Some operators are on medical leave, and a few say they have left Metro because of repeated exposure

 

"You can be driving your bus and get hit with the symptoms," said Frank Portillo, a 23-year coach operator who retired in March, sooner than planned, because of medical issues he believes are pesticide related. "It's a problem for those on the early shift, but you can breathe the fumes throughout the day. The smell is all over."

 

Read More: Source

 

 

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I'm not treating the issue lightly, but as a passenger riding with LACMTA for over the last 15 years I've never experienced any of the operators complaints. I can only assume that there is a concentration of spraying in the cockpit.

 

Either way if I were the operator, at the least I'd attempt to ventilate the vehicle by opening the operator window, the ventilation hatches, or even the passenger windows as needed.

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In reading the article a bit more in depth:

 

"You can be driving your bus and get hit with the symptoms," said Frank Portillo, a 23-year coach operator who retired in March, sooner than planned, because of medical issues he believes are pesticide related. "It's a problem for those on the early shift, but you can breathe the fumes throughout the day. The smell is all over."

 

I think he's right. The toxins contained in such pesticides are known to bring on adverse acute and delayed health effects in workers who are exposed to it not to mention anywhere from irritation of the skin and eyes to more severe effects on the body such as damage to nervous system and endocrine system (causing havoc on the hormones the body's glands produces), reproductive problems, and also causing cancer and even fetal developmental disorders and fetal death (i.e miscarriages). The Los Angeles MTA should absolutely not take this lightly, and should look for safer alternatives towards pest control. I think these B/Os are voicing out for very legitimate reasons.

 

What sort of pesticides are they using, may I ask?

Edited by realizm

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In reading the article a bit more in depth:

 

 

I think he's right. The toxins contained in such pesticides are known to bring on adverse acute and delayed health effects in workers who are exposed to it not to mention anywhere from irritation of the skin and eyes to more severe effects on the body such as damage to nervous system and endocrine system (causing havoc on the hormones the body's glands produces), reproductive problems, and also causing cancer and even fetal developmental disorders and fetal death (i.e miscarriages). The Los Angeles MTA should absolutely not take this lightly, and should look for safer alternatives towards pest control. I think these B/Os are voicing out for very legitimate reasons.

 

What sort of pesticides are they using, may I ask?

I've chatted with some MTA operators via phone and Facebook, and to their knowledge they're using basic pyrethoid, otherwise comparable to a more concentrated spraying of Raid.

 

And yes, there are better alternatives and it would be in the best interest of everyone to examine them.

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OK gotcha. So I googled it and found this:

 

http://www.mailman.columbia.edu/news/commonly-used-insecticide-linked-delayed-mental-development

 

In the first study to examine the effects of these compounds on humans and the first evaluation of their potential toxicity to the developing fetal brain, scientists of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found a significant association between piperonyl butoxide (PBO), a common additive in pyrethroid formulations, measured in personal air collected during the third trimester of pregnancy, and delayed mental development at 36 months.  Findings from the study are online in the journal, Pediatrics.

 

 

So it seems that chemical compound is dangerous to young children if I read this correctly (delayed mental development).


And ...

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrethroid

 

 

Pyrethroids are considered safe to vertebrates, which have sufficient enzymes required for rapid breakdown. In terms of LD50 for rats Tefluthrin is the most toxic at 29 mg/kg.[4] Pyrethroids are however highly toxic to cats because they do not have glucuronidase which serves in hepatic detoxifying metabolism pathways.[11] Anaphylaxis has been reported after pyrethrum exposure, but allergic reaction to pyrethroids has not been documented. Increased sensitivity occurs following repeated exposure to cyanide, which is found in pyrethroids like beta-cyfluthrin (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness, J. Edward Hill, MD, President & Executive Committee Member, AMA).

Researchers "found a significant association between piperonyl butoxide (PBO) a common additive in pyrethroid formulations" ... "and delayed mental development at 36 months."[12]

 

Edited by realizm

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Yes, some contradicting evidence, I see.

 

I will beg to differ in regard to Pyrethroids being safe to humans however. While the don't do the same damage (directly kill) to humans, there are other secondhand effects, such as inhalation of other additives in pesticides.

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