Following reports of joggers, dog walkers and bikers getting trapped in the fog of the city's mosquito control program, a group of Clintonville residents are raising concerns about the practice.

Following reports of joggers, dog walkers and bikers getting trapped in the fog of the city's mosquito control program, a group of Clintonville residents are raising concerns about the practice.

As part of a program to fight the risk of the West Nile virus, Columbus has fogged city neighborhoods throughout the summer with a pesticide to kill off disease-carrying mosquitoes.

A handful of Clintonville residents met with city officials last week to express concerns about the potential hazards of the practice and to pass on reports of residents who were caught in the mist.

Clintonville Area Commissioner Clare Balombin, who joined in on the discussion with the city, said her main concern is that residents are educated about the mosquito fogging program so they can make educated decisions about closing their windows and avoiding the outdoors when the city is scheduled to fog in the area, and about requesting that the city not spray their properties.

"People need to be aware of what's going in their air, of what they're breathing," Balombin said. "I think the health aspects are very important."

Balombin said she became involved in the discussion over fogging because most of the residents who voiced concerns fell within her district.

She said while she shares some of the concerns over the use of chemicals, she also sees it as a key role of the commission to work with residents and the city when concerns like these arise.

One Clintonville resident who met with the city is Jeff Frontz, who also has established a Web site, nospraycolumbus.com, to spread information about fogging and provide an outlet for residents to raise concerns.

Frontz said he was brought to action regarding mosquito fogging based on concerns that the city hasn't updated its mosquito fogging plan since 1999, the city used a different pesticide than it claims this year, people outside in Clintonville were caught in the fog and the city fogged one Clintonville home that had requested to be left out.

"It's not clear that there actually is a concrete policy in Columbus for mosquito control," Frontz said. "When we met with the city, the vector control administrator indicated that it is more of 'an art' to making the decision on when and where to fog."

However, Columbus Public Health spokesman Jose Rodriguez said the city bases its decision on when and where to fog by determining the risk of West Nile virus by counting mosquitoes found in local traps and by testing them for the virus.

"It's not a random choice," Rodriguez said. "It's calculated."

Rodriguez said the city also strives to educate people about fogging, and releases maps of areas to be fogged during the week on its Web site each Friday.

"We do want as much information out there for the public as possible," Rodriguez said.

And as for complaints from the Clintonville residents, Rodriguez said the city is committed to working with them to ease concerns about fogging.

Both Balombin and Frontz said they were pleased with the outcome of their meeting with the city last week and will continue to talk to the city about plan.

The city did agree to send e-mails to the CAC when fogging is planned in Clintonville to give the CAC time to notify residents. "This will allow residents to make decisions on whether they choose to be exposed to chemicals or not," Balombin said.

Frontz said the city also will provide the residents with the city's pest management plan for mosquitoes and were invited to provide comments on the plan.