Thursday spraying complete; more to come

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on August 16, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 17 at 9:07 AM

DALLAS -- With the planes as a backdrop, Dallas County leaders showed the flight zone for Thursday night's aerial spraying operation.

For the first time, officials confirmed it will not be the only time planes blanket pesticide across the county.

"The most current information we have from the CDC and state is a recommendation of two applications spread apart by four days," said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

Weather permitting, planes will take to Dallas county skies between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. Two planes will fly low, between 200-to-400 feet off the ground.

Mayors from cities south of Interstate-30 met with health authorities to determine when they will be eligible for aerial spraying. Some cities have already decided.

"We've been doing the ground spraying and it's had some effect, but not the effect that we want," said Grand Prairie Mayor Charles England. "So we're going along with the state and the county and the medical society and the CDC, what they all recommend, and that's aerial spraying."

Medical experts are reassuring the public about safety; that the amount of chemicals required for aerial spraying is actually lower than what's used in many common household products.

"Most of your audience will want to know about the exposure," said Dallas County Medical Society President Dr. Rick Snyder. "They actually [contain] less [chemical] than lice shampoo that you'd use on your children, less than what a dog would experience from a dog collar or from flea powders."

Snyder said residents with respiratory conditions are voicing particular concern. He points to studies from Sacramento, where urban spraying has been done for years.

"There is no science that there would be any uptick in their conditions," Dr. Snyder said.

More aerial spraying is planned for the northwest portion of Dallas county Friday night. The times and precise locations have yet to be determined, though Grand Prairie sent out a release Thursday saying the entire city (including portions in Tarrant County) will be sprayed Friday.

The Dallas County Health Department is also urging anyone in the spray zone to get indoors, as a precaution.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

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