SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Timber Company Plans Spraying of Dangerous Chemicals
By Jonathan Neiss


April 22, 2006

Carrie James is angry. She is angry because traditional lands in Alaska are under threat from aerial spraying of dangerous herbicides. The land is actively used by indigenous people. In March, 2006, Klukwan Inc. timber company obtained a permit to spray these herbicides for "forestry management" in Long Island, Alaska.

The chemicals in questions are the herbicide glyphosate, the herbicide imazapyr, a surfactant and a drift inhibitor. Pamela Miller of the Alaska Community Action on Toxics says that, "Neither the Environmental Protection Agency nor DEC has tested or studied how the four chemicals may affect people, fish, the environment, or wildlife when mixed together".

What seems especially egregious is that the indigenous people have proposed alternatives to the use of the herbicides! These include manual removal of the alderberry and salmonberry plants that are the targets of the aerial spraying.

Extensively peer-reviewed scientific articles prove that glyphosate causes birth defects, and has caused genetic damage to human cells. Studies have shown a link to increased risks of cancer, miscarriages, stillbirth and attention deficit disorder.

Imazapyr is corrosive to the eyes and skin and can cause irreversible eye damage. This chemical persists in soil for over a year.

Must these dangerous chemicals be used when simple and safe alternatives exist?


Jonathan Neiss
Union, NJ - USA

About: Jonathan Neiss is concerned about the environment and wildlife. He has frequently written letters to Alaska publishers regarding saving Alaska wolves.

Related Viewpoint:

letter Aerial pesticide spraying of Long Island By Carrie L. James


Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


Write a Letter -------Read Letters

E-mail the Editor

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska