Please Vote NO to Mosquito Spraying in the Western Suburbs.

Mosquito spraying is almost always a terrible idea because of the health effects linked to both pyrethroids and organophosphates, the chemicals commonly used. There is a measure on the ballot, I just found out, to unite mosquito abatement districts in the name of efficiency and cost savings. I do not know for certain, but I think it is possible that this is an effort sponsored by Clarke Environmental, the spraying company, to get Warrenville and other non-participating cities to spray again. We do not currently adulticide; larvaciding and prevention methods are more effective, particularly with the Forest Preserves that surround Warrenville.

In my opinion, we have every reason to believe that previous mosquito spraying in Warrenville killed our daughter Katherine, who died in 2002 at age eight after battling leukemia for four years. The chemicals used are extremely toxic -- linked not only to cancer but to autism, ADHD, and other neurocognitive problems. This has not really been up for debate since the American Academy of Pediatrics http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/6/e1757 put out their Statement on Pesticides in 2012. We know we will be causing harm if we spray, particularly to young children and babies in utero -- all to maybe prevent a few cases of West Nile. Abundant evidence has shown harms of these chemicals for decades.

I am a Commissioner of the Warrenville Environmental Advisory Commission, and I heard nothing about this because it was initiated by Winfield Township. Officials at Warrenville City Hall are checking to see what the impacts might be.

Please vote "NO" next Tuesday:


In order to provide greater health benefits and mosquito nuisance control, and to save taxpayers money from the 40 units of governments in DuPage County that have responsibilities in providing mosquito abatement services, shall those government authorities be consolidated into the nine DuPage County Townships to administer Mosquito Abatement Programs?

You can find the ballot information at

For reference purposes, other election information is available at: https://www.dupageco.org/Election/Candidates_and_Campaigns/37053/.

Update: This Just in from the Warrenville City Attorney:

1)     This is a non-binding (advisory) referendum question and will not change anything whether or not it passes.

2)     Regardless of the referendum outcome and any future actions by the Township’s efforts to consolidate mosquito abatement services, the township cannot provide that service within the incorporated City of Warrenville boundaries.

3)     The Township does not have jurisdiction for general services such as mosquito spraying within municipal boundaries. They may only serve the unincorporated areas.

4)     The Township would need specific state legislation giving it such authority, or some type of intergovernmental cooperative agreement specifically with the City of Warrenville, to provide mosquito abatement within the corporate limits of the City.

5)     The City Council has not changed its policy against mosquito spraying within the City and there are no plans or actions to change that direction.

This is reassuring. In the past, I have seen how powerful Mosquito Abatement Districts can be – they’re unelected and do have power to spray despite protests. In past decades, this was seen as important to Public Health. Now that we know the real harms of the chemicals (well, since 1962 we’ve known, but still), adulticiding is only rarely the right choice.

I still think a “no” vote sends the right message of local control, but I’m very relieved Warrenville is safe. Children in other towns are not, of course. I’m earning my Masters in Public Health in order to do something about that. I hope you all will join me in fighting this preventable cause of cancer, autism, aDHD, and lower IQs.