Read a transcript of Dr. LeStourgeon's
presentation before the Board of Health on April 12, 2005. |
1 was sent to the Chair of the Board of Health and the Deputy Director of the
Metro Public Health Department
Mr. William Hance,
Chair March 28, 2005
Board of Health
Lentz Public Health Center
311 23rd Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37203
Dear Mr. Hance,
Over the past few years a significant new set of toxicological studies now
clearly indicate that human exposure (at any level) to synthetic pyrethrins and
to piperonyl butoxide is strongly contraindicated. As you are probably aware,
these are the ingredients of the commercial product, Anvil 2 + 2. Not only has
sumithrin been shown to act as an endocrine disruptor but the synergant,
piperonyl butoxide (the most potent pesticide in Anvil) has been shown to induce
DNA damage in several different assays for genotoxicity and also to function as
an endocrine disruptor.
Today, the general public is unaware that only about 2% of all cancers result
from the inheritance of defective parental genes. Rather, 95-98% of the present
cancer burden is due to environmental factors that can directly or indirectly
induce somatic mutations in oncogenes. This is unambiguous and well documented.
Consistent with this fact is recent data from the National Cancer Institute
demonstrating that today, American citizens have a current life time risk of
being diagnosed with cancer of 46% in white males and 39% in white females.
Additionally, recent data from the National Cancer Institute documents the ever
increasing incidence of cancer in tissues that are most in harms way from
exposure to mutagens (liver, thyroid, skin, kidney, testis, and ovaries).
For the past 10 years, in addition to advanced biochemistry, I have taught an
upper level course entitled Molecular Mechanisms of Environmental Toxins at
Vanderbilt University. Through this activity I have followed the literature
closely and feel that I may be in a position to aid in your panel’s decision
regarding the continued spraying of Nashville citizens with known disruptors of
human biochemical pathways. I would very much like to provide this information
to the Board of Health at your next public meeting. I anticipate that it will
take 6-8 minutes to make the major points regarding the new information.
Wallace M. LeStourgeon
Professor of Molecular Biology
Nashville, TN 37235
LETTER 2 This letter and a large packet with the supporting studies were given
to all Board of Health members and Dr. Stephanie Bailey (the Director of the
Health Department) on 4/12/05. This information contained in this letter was also
presented at the special meeting of Metro Council's Health & Hospital committee
on May 26.
Mr. William Hance, Chair
April 8, 2005 Board Of Health
311 23rd Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37203
Regarding the use of Anvil 2+2 in Nashville. The information presented below
(and attached) is taken from the most recent release of data from the
Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer
Institute and from peer reviewed published research on pyrethroids and the
synergant, piperonyl butoxide (the components of Anvil 2+2). I believe that if
the general public knew this information, they would choose not to expose
themselves or their children to a risk that likely exceeds that from
mosquito-borne illness. The basic information enumerated below is highly
relevant to the fundamental issue of public health in the Nashville community and
to the upcoming decision regarding pesticide use.
1. 95-98% of all cancers are caused by mutations in somatic cells as we
pass through life and not by the inheritance of defective parental genes (the
evidence for this statement is presented in four review articles appended as
Appendix 5). The general public does not know this fact.
2. Today 46%, essentially half of all white males and 39.5% of all white
females will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime (see Appendix 1). This
incidence exceeds all known plagues and was predicted by scientists over 50 years
ago. The general public does not know this fact.
3. Mutations are cumulative throughout our lifetimes. A mutation suffered at
age 7 in a particular liver cell will be present in the progeny of that cell at
age 70. This is why cancer is referred to as a disease of the elderly.
Regretfully, it is a misconception. Rather, cancer incidence and onset
correlates most directly with the “rate” and “magnitude” of DNA damage and is not
strictly coupled to age. Additionally, it must be stated here that there is
simply no “safe” dose of mutagen (see review articles)
4. Tissues that show the maximum rate of increased cancer in recent years are
precisely the same tissues that are most in harms way from mutagens in the
environment (please see Appendix I). Briefly stated here:
a. Liver and bile duct show the highest annual percent increase (4.8%) since
1992 alone. This is expected because everything that is absorbed in the gut goes
first to the liver via the hepatic portal system. Toxins absorbed through the
lungs or skin also are metabolized mostly in the liver.
b. Melanoma of the skin directly correlates with increased sun exposure and
thinning of the ozone layer.
c. The thyroid gland is the only tissue that can add and effectively remove
halogens from organic substrates.
d. The kidney is somewhat like the liver in that it concentrates toxins
prior to elimination.
e. The truly shocking increases in cancer of the testis, prostate, and
breast correlate with the ever increasing number and type of fat soluble
endocrine disruptors and mutagens in the environment (see Appendix I and III).
5. It should be remembered that “life expectancy” is an “average value” for
a population group and does not reflect an increased life potential for a given
individual. In that regard we are no different from humans hundreds of years
ago. The improvement in this statistic over the past 50 years is due to
antibiotics, vaccines, improved diagnostic techniques and treatment procedures
and to new data handling methods. It is simply untrue that pesticides have been
a positive contributor to life expectancy in the United States. It is regretful
that the general public does not understand this concept because it contributes
to a false sense confidence and indifference regarding ever increasing pollutants
and public health issues.
Several data sets from the National Cancer Institute are presented in this
document. In addition, the abstracts from numerous new studies on the
genotoxicity and endocrine disruption activities of piperonyl butoxide and
Sumithrin (phenothrin) are also included.
Given these published facts and direct correlations, it is strongly
contraindicated to contaminate the Nashville community with many thousands of
pounds of know carcinogen and know endocrine disruptor. This becomes a more
compelling argument in the absence of evidence that spraying with Anvil 2+2 has,
or will, do anything to reduce the risk of disease. Any statement by the
manufacturers of Anvil to the extent that the product has not been shown to be a
mutagen and endocrine disruptor must rely on industry-funded research and is
profoundly untrue and usury of the public (an example is included in this packed
Most African countries have been spraying with ever increasing amounts of DDT
and Malathion over the past 50 years and last year was the worst year on record
for the global malaria problem. Spraying pesticide may be of limited value in
extreme high risk environments but it is not the solution to the problem.
Sumithrin is extremely toxic to fish (especially small fish, see last page of
Appendix III). For every minnow killed by Sumithrin, hundreds of mosquito larva
will mature. It would be far less expensive and far more healthy to add a few
minnows to pools of water in neighborhoods than contribute to sumithrin
resistance by long term use of the pesticide.
I hope that the members of the Board of Health will take one hour to study
this information before making a decision to add even more endocrine disruptor
and genotoxic compounds to our air, water, and land. The data is simply too
compelling to trust the false and misleading information from the pesticide
Wallace M. LeStourgeon Ph.D.
Professor of Molecular Biology
Environmental Affairs Committee
Department of Biological Sciences
Nashville, TN 37235
AFTER HIS PRESENTATION LESTOURGEON MADE THESE COMMENTS TO A METRO COUNCIL
COMMITTEE ABOUT HOW THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT's TOXICOLGIST RESPONDED:
Dr. Wallace LeStourgeon, professor of Molecular Biology at Vanderbilt
University presented new toxicological studies demonstrating that the pesticide
being used by the Health Department contains a known endocrine disruptor and
mutagen. He has expressed concerns over the quantal effects of the pesticide.
While speaking before the Health and Hospital Committee of Metro Council in May,
Dr. LeStourgeon said,
"Several weeks ago, when I presented some of this evidence and new
information to the Board of Health, I tried to keep my comments within 3 minutes
and I think I did, and following me the toxicologist, Dr. Areola, was allowed to
speak some fifteen minutes. From my perspective, listening to his diatribe, I
thought I was listening to a representative from the pesticide industry. Now, I
know those guys go to seminars and symposia and meetings that are held by these
companies but it was a bit of a shock to me to have that kind of a confrontation
using old data and old ways of thinking."