Focus on reducing stagnant water in anti-mozzie fight

I live in a house surrounded by nine bungalows, most of which have contractors that carry out weekly anti-mosquito chemical fogging.

Hardly a day goes by without the toxic fog permeating my house, unless I am informed ahead of the fogging and given the opportunity to close my windows.

Sometimes, I do not know of the fogging until I hear the noise and smell the foul smoke.

For many years, mosquitoes were aplenty in my neighbourhood despite the regular fogging.

The mosquitoes were breeding in about 40 scupper drains, which had stagnant water caused by falling leaves, which caused obstructions.

Eventually, about three years ago, two site meetings were organised with representatives from the National Environment Agency, the Land Transport Authority and the Public Works Department.

It was decided that the scupper drains would be covered and replaced with large buried pipes to drain the road surface water into the monsoon drain.

Since then, my neighbourhood has practically been mosquito-free.

This is proof that the way to control mosquito breeding is by eliminating stagnant water.

The active chemical used in fogging is cypermethrin, which is a neurotoxin and a carcinogen.

In animals, it can cause neurological diseases, cancer and fetal problems.

Cypermethrin is also banned in Canada as an insecticide.

I hope National Environment Agency will concentrate on eliminating stagnant water and not condone chemical fogging.

The public should not be subject to toxic air pollution.

Ong Siew Chey (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2017, with the headline 'Focus on reducing stagnant water in anti-mozzie fight'. Print Edition | Subscribe