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Steps to take as mosquito spraying continues on Long Island

Suffolk County will begin a two-day mosquito-spraying program on Fire Island at 6 p.m. today. Ocean Bay Park will be sprayed from 6 to 10 tonight, and Fire Island Pines, Water Island, Atlantique and Summer Club will be sprayed from 6 to 10 p.m. tomorrow.

The county is using sumithrin, a pyrethroid pesticide branded as Anvil that contains a synthetic version of a naturally occurring compound produced by chrysanthemum flowers that is effective against adult mosquitoes. The ground spraying of all streets in those villages will be conducted using an ultra-low volume aerosol spray. 

Although pyrethroids typically don't pose a hazard to most humans, there are several precautions residents should take. The county recommends the following:

Steps you should take:  Children and pregnant women should take care to avoid exposure when practical.  If possible, remain inside or avoid the area whenever spraying takes place and for about 30 minutes after spraying.  Close windows and doors and close the vents of window air-conditioning units to circulate indoor air or, before spraying begins, turn them off.  Windows and air-conditioning vents can be reopened about 30 minutes after spraying.  If you come in direct contact with pesticide spray, protect your eyes.  If you get pesticide spray in your eyes, immediately rinse them with water.  Wash exposed skin.  Wash clothes that come in direct contact with spray separately from other laundry.  Consult your health care provider if you think you are experiencing health effects from spraying.

Steps you may want to take:  The materials used do not leave significant residues on surfaces, but exposure can be reduced even further.  Pick homegrown fruits and vegetables you expect to eat soon before spraying takes place.  Rinse homegrown fruits and vegetables (in fact, all produce) thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.  Bring laundry and small toys inside before spraying begins.  (Wash with detergent and water if exposed to pesticides during spraying.)  Bring pet food and water dishes inside, and cover ornamental fish ponds during the spray period to avoid direct exposure.

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