According to shop owners and managers in the town of Wynwood, Flordia – also known as the “Zika Zone” – the area has been noticeably empty of the usual crowds that form to see the local murals and shop at local businesses.
The slow down in pedestrian traffic coincides with the intensified effort by the state of Florida to combat the mosquitos which carry the Zika virus by blanketing the town of Wynwood with insecticide.
“It’s actually been pretty much a ghost town,” an eclectic plant shop owner in the area, who was only able to make one sale on an otherwise busy Saturday, told CBS Miami.
Yesenia Candelario at Marine Layer told CBS that it was a “very slow, quiet weekend in the trendy, artsy enclave.”
“There’s a bunch of restaurants here and now we have new shops. So we have a lot of people come in for brunch and tourists who wanna see the murals and shop around,” Candelario explained. “But it’s not like that due to the Zika virus.”
Last week the state of Florida started a campaign to kill off the Aedes species of mosquito by spraying an insecticide called Naled over a 10-mile radius surrounding the Wynwood area.
At least 15 people in the city’s Wynwood area are believed to have been infected with the virus through mosquito bites.
According to Cornell Univerisity, the Organophosphate chemical Naled is moderately to highly toxic by ingestion, inhalation and dermal absorption.
Vapors or fumes of naled are corrosive to the mucous membranes lining the mouth, throat and lungs, and inhalation may cause severe irritation. A sensation of tightness in the chest and coughing are commonly experienced after inhalation. As with all organophosphates, naled is readily absorbed through the skin. Skin which has come in contact with this material should be washed immediately with soap and water and all contaminated clothing should be removed.
In laboratory tests, Naled exposure caused increased aggressiveness and a deterioration of memory and learning.
It was also shown to interfere with prenatal brain development and has a cancerous byproduct.
From the No Spray Coalition:
Naled’s breakdown product DICHLORVOS (another organophosphate insecticide) interferes with prenatal brain development. In laboratory animals, exposure for just 3 days during pregnancy when the brain is growing quickly reduced brain size 15 percent.
DICHLORVOS also causes cancer, according to the International Agency for Research on Carcinogens. In laboratory tests, it caused leukemia and pancreatic cancer. Two independent studies have shown that children exposed to household “no-pest” strips containing dichlorvos have a higher incidence of brain cancer than unexposed children.
Aerial applications of naled can drift up to one-half mile. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, naled is moderately to highly toxic to birds and fish. It also reduced egg production and hatching success in tests with birds and reduced growth in tests with juvenile fish. convulsions, paralysis, and death.
When looking at footage of the aerial spraying occurring over Wynwood, and the fact that the insecticide can drift a half mile, it is absolutely no wonder why tourists and locals would be discouraged from going outside in the area...
Why risk being sprayed with or exposed to a toxic chemical that could negatively affect you neurologically?
It is also interesting to note that the Zika hysteria has been fueled by the supposed fact that the virus causes microcephaly, a birth defect that causes an infant’s head to be significantly smaller than the heads of other children of the same age and sex.
It could be extremely risky and potentially counterproductive to fight the Zika spreading mosquitos with Naled considering the lab tests that show reduced brain size of 15 percent in animals exposed to the chemical.
CBS Miami has reported that the spraying has no scheduled time of stoppage.