Silent Spring – Rachel Carson

I live in Massachusetts, if you do too, then I’m sure you’ve heard the news stories about Malaria and the need for towns to “spray”.  The town I live in, has a “Mosquito Control Project” underway which will involve spraying.  I have to say, I object wholeheartedly to this idea.  I remember back in the 1960s when the towns sprayed DDT and consequently murdered all the birds, as well as other mammals, contaminated ponds, lakes —  essentially the water supply as well as exposed us (adults and children) to a highly toxic poison.

If you’re not familiar with what I am talking about then read Silent Spring by Rachel Carson and circle back.  What happened in the 1960s was, in a word: HORRIFYING! When will the master predator on this Planet we call Mother Earth learn? In case you haven’t noticed, the planet is in crisis and there is only one mammal to blame. Just sayin’…


My town posted the following information (below) about the pesticide being used. Quite frankly, I don’t care how non-toxic they claim this insecticide is, I DO NOT BELIEVE THEM!

 Sumithrin (ANVIL) Fact Sheet


  • What is sumithrin?
  • What are the symptoms of  exposure to sumithrin?
  • What are the long term effects  of sumithrin?
  • How does sumithrin affect  other species?
  • How long does sumithrin last  in the environment?
  • Sumithrin product labels

What Is Sumithrin?

Sumithrin is a type I pyrethroid  insecticide. Pyrethroids are synthetic versions of a natural  insecticide produced by chrysanthemum flowers.

Although pyrethroids are among the  least toxic insecticides, they are nerve poisons. They act upon  the sodium ion channels in nerve cell membranes.

The pesticide containing sumithrin  being used in NY City and its suburbs is called ANVIL (TM). It  is 10% sumithrin, 10% piperonyl butoxide and 80% inert  ingredients. Piperonyl butoxide makes the pesticide more  effective by preventing insects from detoxifying sumithrin.

Manufacturers are not required to  disclose the inert ingredients, although they may be toxic also.

What Are the Symptoms of Exposure  to Sumithrin?

Inhaling pyrethroid insecticides  can cause coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, runny or  stuffy nose, chest pain, or difficulty breathing.

Skin contact can cause a rash,  itching, or blisters.

Piperonyl butoxide can cause skin  and eye irritation. All the health effects of this chemical have  not been fully researched.

What Are the Long Term Effects of  Sumithrin?

Rats fed high doses (1,000  milligrams per kilogram of body weight or mg/kg) of pyrethrins  (natural versions of pyrethroids) showed liver damage. There is  also evidence that pyrethroids can harm the thyroid.

Pyrethroids, including sumithrin,  have been shown in the lab to disrupt the endocrine system by  mimicking the effects of the female sex hormone estrogen. In  men, endocrine disrupters can lower the sperm count, and in  women they can cause the growth of abnormal breast cells.

Piperonyl butoxide has been  classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a possible  human carcinogen.

How Does Sumithrin Affect Other  Species?

Sumithrin is not very toxic to  mammals, but it is highly toxic to bees and fish.

How Long Does Sumithrin Last in  the Environment?

The half-life of sumithrin in soil  is one day to sixteen weeks, depending on the type of soil.

Sumithrin Product Labels

ANVIL is a brand name of the  sumithrin product. You can learn more about it from the manufacturer’s product label.