Let’s Stop Paying The Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project To Poison Us
Mysterious trucks lumbering down small town roads spraying poisonous pesticides onto yards, gardens, pets, and toys that children forgot to bring in for the night. Gallons and gallons of these toxic chemicals misting cherished homes and yards while their occupants sleep. After years of living alongside these poisons, being told by your doctors that you now have yet another cancer, a cancer that is caused by these very poisons, and a cancer that, even with treatment, may be fatal.
If this sounds like a scary fiction book, it is not. I was sprayed for years by the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project while I slept at night, and I was diagnosed last year with my second cancer. This was devastating by itself, but when I found out that my town and my tax dollars paid for this poisoning, it made me realize that other folks may be as uninformed as I was about the nightly pesticide poisonings that are happening across New England in June and July.
The dark side of living here in a quaint town in Central Massachusetts reared its ugly head when I developed two cancers over the last 10 years. I love my small town in Massachusetts, where I’ve always loved living by the side of a busy street able to watch school buses and neighbors as they drive by during their busy days. As a gardener, neighbors will often honk and wave at me as they pass, and that is a real joy in my life.
Although we tragically had puppies and pets die from cancer at an early age, we attributed it to just a fact of life. When my second cancer was discovered, I started to research the poisons that are being put in our environment without our awareness, and that cause our cancers. I am now a two-time cancer survivor, and proud of that fact, but I also know that toxins in our environment contributed to my cancer.
The Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project pumps millions of dollars-worth of poisons via our roadways right into our neighborhoods each year in response to the fear of mosquito-borne disease, a fear which is fanned by the Mosquito Boards themselves. The truth is that in the last 2 years, there have been 6 deaths from EEE or West Nile Virus in Massachusetts, while almost 40,000 people have died from cancer during the same time. The chances of getting mosquito-borne illness are extremely rare, yet the governor’s response to one or two EEE cases is to declare a state of emergency and conduct large-scale aerial spraying across the state.
We know that pesticides are poisons. Poisons kill. We need to stop paying these Mosquito Control Projects to kill us!
Check your town in the calendar below to see if you are being sprayed at night. If I had taken steps to stop my poisoning, my cancers might have been avoided. I hope that my story and warning may help you and your family.
- Go to your area Mosquito Control Board site (such as Central Mass Mosquito Control Project at https://www.cmmcp.org) to see when your yard will be sprayed. If you do not want to be sprayed, register to opt out. The opt out process is cumbersome and you must post pie plates every 50 yards on your property saying “No spray.” Alert your neighbors to help widen the area of safety in your neighborhood.
- Tell your friends and family about these poison sprays.
- Let your town Select Board and Board of Health know that is important to you as a citizen and important to your health not to be sprayed.
- Take this information to your next town meeting to vote out of the spraying. Usually, annual town meetings are in the spring but they vary from town to town. If you bring like-minded folks and enough attention to the town meeting, you will be able to vote your town out of belonging to the Mosquito Control District’s spraying.
For many people, the tax dollars involved, which range from $60,000 to over $100,000 per town, is a big selling point. This expensive cost is hidden from most townspeople because it is not a line item or voted-on expense, but is spent from the state aid or “cherry fund.” Towns can refuse to join the Mosquito Control Project. Let your fellow tax payers know that your town is paying thousands of dollars to be poisoned. You can make a difference.
Sterling Jackson is a two-time cancer survivor and longtime resident of Massachusetts. They live and love in the Blackstone Valley and wishes you health, happiness and hope.