To the editor:
Trichlorfon, an insecticide that may cause paralysis and death, [i] is one of a score of toxic chemicals used on the golf course in Oak Hills Park.
These chemicals threaten the well-being of humans, mammals, birds, fish, other aquatic animals, invertebrates, and plants. Nevertheless the Oak Hills Park Authority (OHPA), the autonomous entity that manages the financially stressed taxpayer subsidized course, purchased nearly $100,000 worth of them in 2013 according to its financial statements. Yet, as the Audubon Society has pointed out and Audubon certified golf courses have demonstrated, they are not needed to maintain the fairways or the greens.
What, then, is the reason the Oak Hills Authority is not following the Audubon Society’s environmentally friendly guidelines and seeking the society’s certification that it is doing so? That is a question Norwalk’s Planning and Zoning Commission should raise when it takes up the issue of the OHPA’s “Master Plan” at its meeting on July 15.
Clearly the Commission along with Common Council members and the mayor should demand that the public be informed on a regular basis about the chemicals the OHPA is using on the golf course, the dangers those chemicals present, and the efforts being made to mitigate their harmful effects. Additionally, they should demand the OHPA make known what chemicals it maintains in storage and whether those chemicals are being stored according to their recommended safety instructions.
Recently, Nancy on Norwalk’s Nancy Chapman obtained a list of chemicals currently being used by the OHPA. On that list are four potential carcinogens: Bifenthrin, Vinclozolin, Iprodione, and Chlorothanlolin.[ii] Furthermore, according to the National Pesticide Information Center and The Extension Toxicology Network summaries, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fact sheets and other sources available on the web they along with other chemicals on the list have additional harmful (even deadly) effects on humans, mammals, birds, fish, other aquatic animals, bees, other invertebrates, plants and the supply of safe drinking water (see the table below).
Suzanne Ste. Therese
[i]The Extension Toxicology Network (EXTOXNET). EXTOXNET is the Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices of Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University, and University of California at Davis. http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/pyrethrins-ziram/trichlorfon-ext.html
[ii] For more information on the toxic effect of these chemicals go to: www.beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/?p=13301