LETTER TO THE EDITOR - 17 February 2008
Dear Editor,
This is in response to the ABC article 15-2-08; ' Western Creek aerial spraying prompts concerns '

Spraying pesticides in water catchments, ignores the concepts for safe water management in The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and The Australian and New Zealand for Fresh and Marine Water Quality Guidelines. Some information for readers on alpha-cypermethrin and use in catchments.

1- The reason alpha-cypermethrin (often Astound Duo and Dominex in Tasmania) is almost NEVER found in water is 'coz it is so hydrophobic and sticks like glue to any particulate matter. So to find it in waterways , one needs to look at the sediments and particulate matter.

2- It is still toxic at v v v low levels ie below normal detection levels. Immunotoxic, endocrine-disruptor, nerve toxin and pre-carcinogen.

3- In Tasmania, DPIW is responsible for allowing use of pesticides from point of sale. The Review of Code of Practice for Aerial Spraying is STILL not finished and so it is 'business as usual' with no changes to practices from the time of the pesticide-spraying chopper crash in 2003. To say that it is not found in water samples at post-spray monitoring for instance, is a meaningless statement with regard to performance monitoring for river or catchment health.

4- With no chemical trespass legislation and no effective or enforced catchment protection policies, it seems it is up to each and every one of us to protect our own water and food supplies. Spray drift is a reality and the risk and management of toxic chemicals from drift onto people, animals, crops, waterways etc has not been adequately addressed.

Dr Alison Bleaney
4 Bayview Ave
Binalon Bay Tas 7216