Interesting that is subject has come up at a time when the bug spraying on SI in the late 50's and into the 60's was a regular routine during the spring & summer months. The spraying seemed to be lessened during the 70's or I was just too busy taking care of home & harth to have noticed the frequency. The "mosquito mans" spraying has been in conversation within my family in reference to a disease which causes a deficiency of a specific enzyme depending of what type of porphyria a person may have. Certain enzymes help break down porphyrin (every living thing has porphyrin in it's make up - humans, plants, animals etc.) in our bodies and is somehow connected to the levels of heme / iron in our blood and something about how the liver filters and distributes throughout our system - to say the least it's a complicated disease - too complicated to go into here - Porphyria is blood related - causes much pain & distress when a porphyria victim is in an active bout with AIP. There is little treatment available for Acute Intermittent Porphyria. Recently Gulf War Syndrome has researchers looking very seriously into the possibility that GWS is an acquired form of AIP via chemical exposure/ingestion.
I do remember the "Musquat Man" aka mosquito man - we lived in a heavily wooded area with lots of ponds - a cleaner word for dem Staten Island swamps where we caught frogs and other critters during the warmer months then ice skated on in the winter and a brook that flowed & overflowed constantly through our neighborhood. I clearly remember to this day how when the noise of the "mosquito mans" compressor was heard many of the kids in the neighborhood would hit the streets on foot and bike and gather behind his truck as though he were the pide piper of bug land spraying some magical mist into the air - choke, choke - gaggggggggggggggggg it was AWFULLLLLLL - and to this day I can't believe no one ever passed out in droves while weaving in & out of the insecticide smogger.
The first time I headed out the door to join in the "mist parade" my Dad had a fit and put a rapid halt to my adventure - he said "what are you crazy - do you want to die or something - that stuff if DDT and could kill you" OUCH!!!! as kids we hadn't a clue - guess I was lucky to have been stopped before I joined the mosquito mans parade of gaggers. OK so I wasn't in the DDT fog but in going over it recently anyone who lived on Staten Island then was in contact with DDT because it left a residue everywhere especially over the surface of the ponds where the oily slick was quite visible for many weeks after the mosquito man had completed his misty run.
Why has it come uP in conversation within my family? I keep in touch with many friends that I grew uP with from my old neighborhood - many families still live there and there seems to be a series of illness events within the male population that grew uP in the area of Egbertville that is bringing serious concern to us. The boys were the majority parading behind in "mosquito mans" mist and several have some weird "not so well" body chemistry things going on - so it has stuck uP the the question - "could the possibility be that the "boys" medical problems may have something to do with inhaling/ingesting the "mosquito mans" DDT foggy mist". The "ride behind" and spending hours catching frogs & critters in the ponds/swamp/brook coated with DDT's oily residue slick are the two things they ALL the boys had in common when they were kids.
We do believe strongly that there may be a connection between the "mosquito mans" spraying and the horrible disease called Acquired Acute Intermittent Porphyria aka AIP.
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