Mayor runs into protesters angry over pesticides to fight Zika

Wynwood protestor to officials fighting Zika: 'Stop poisoning us'

MIAMI – Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado was defying the threat of the Zika virus at Miami's Wynwood Saturday, when he ran into protesters.

The crowd was unhappy about the air spraying of a pesticide banned in the European Union. Some in downtown Miami have experienced eye irritation after and during the early morning spraying and there are fears that there could be other health issues. 

Among the protestors was a man wearing a white body suit, a mask and holding up a "Stop Poisoning Us" sign with a picture of Gov. Rick Scott.

A few other men held up "What are you really killing with Naled?" signs. 

There was little faith on Saturday over the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approval of Naled, the pesticide sprayed five times in August over a high risk area in Miami.

Opponents of the pesticide cite studies linking Naled's potent toxicity to neurological issues. They demand that officials consider other options to contain the spread of the Zika virus.

As of Friday afternoon, the number of Zika virus patients who were locally infected grew to 25. 

Naled "is a pretty good poison, which works by short-circuiting nervous systems of mosquitoes and just about everything else that is alive," Josh Bloom, of the American Council on Science and Health, said in a recent article.

Considering the threat of the Zika virus spreading, the use of the chemical, Bloom said, "will end well for humans, but not mosquitoes."

Regalado was visiting businesses that were suffering after the news that the Zika virus was spreading in the neighborhood.

The second Saturday of the month usually attracts big crowds. But fear of mosquito bites kept many away. 

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez also spent time in Wynwood and said that air spraying has been a part of the mosquito control program for years. 

The protesters have an ongoing online White House petition

About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.