Letter: Is This Business or Health?

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Please, would someone remind Kevin Sexton he is the co-chair of the Board of Health, not the Select Board. Credit goes to RCTV for keeping Reading government transparent. At the 4/24/18 Board of Health meeting (RCTV minute 18:22) we learn that the BoH co-chair and prominent local realtor believes that pesticide exposure ” has no direct threat or immediate impact” to Reading residents or their children. I would like to remind Mr. Sexton what the US Government has said about Agent Orange or how pesticide expose has been directly linked to the Gulf War Syndrome in our veterans.

In theory, one can argue, Mr. Sexton is correct. Smoking one cigarette, having one unprotected sexual encounter, or drinking water with just a little lead has “no immediate impact” but it doesn’t make it safe, anywhere and certainly not in the land of Public Health.
For the record, pesticide use poses a risk to human health. Pesticide exposure Mr. Sexton has been associated with birth defects, learning disorders, respiratory illness, brain cancer, leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, neurological disorders including Parkinson’s disease, brain damage, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, low sperm count, testicular cancer, male infertility, immune system problems, and abnormal hormonal activity Many health organizations have clear policies advocating pesticide reduction use including but not limited to, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Brain Tumor Association, American Public Health Association, Lymphoma Foundation of America, March of Dimes, National Academy of Sciences, Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives, Massachusetts General Accounting Office, and the Environmental Protective Agency.
Mr. Sexton as a member of the Reading Board of Health is behaving irresponsibly in stating a belief without any scientific evidence or seemingly willing to do the research that pesticides do not carry a significant risk to Reading residents, their children, or even their pets. Is this business or health?
Nancy Docktor
Pearl St
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