Controversial pesticide used to fight mosquitoes linked to delayed motor skills in babies

Naled used in Hillsborough, Sarasota counties
Posted at 11:11 PM, Jun 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-22 23:11:32-04

A new study has some parents worried about one of the chemicals used to control mosquitoes in Hillsborough county. 

University of Michigan researchers recently discovered that trace amounts of Naled could harm children. 

According to the study, some unborn babies exposed to Naled had issues developing fine motor skills at age 9 months. 

"Because of the great exposure that this pesticide is going to pose, that an alternative should be investigated and definitely adopted," said concerned Tampa resident Sandra Duenas. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that Naled is safe to use and the best option for killing mosquitoes. 

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Naled has been used extensively in the United States for several years. 

Hillsborough and Sarasota counties use Naled in aerial sprays on an as-needed basis. 

"They'll go up and they'll make that application to knock down that adult mosquito population," said Hillsborough County Mosquito Control Director Donnie Hayes. 

According to Hayes, Hillsborough county has used Naled three or four times so far this mosquito season. 

Hayes says he is aware of the recently-released study, but does not have an opinion on the findings.  

"We're applying that product the way that it was designed to be applied," said Hayes. "So we're doing it in the safest manner possible."

Hayes says keeping Naled in their arsenal prevents resistance among mosquitoes. 

"We're running out of products to use," said Hayes. "We can't continue to use the same products over and over. If we do that, we're going to build up resistance in the mosquito population and then the products that we're using will no longer work."