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Risk Assessment

By | April 2008
Page 1 of 3
Malathion Risk Assessment

Based on surveillance and monitoring Genercville, the wetlands have become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The proposal is to use the pesticide Malathion in order to control the problem of mosquitoes that could possibly infect the people with the West Nile Virus. The following is my analysis and evaluation of this pesticide. Malathion is an insecticide which is used in agricultural and horticultural applications to control mosquitoes and boll weevils (ATSDR 2001 West Nile Control). The use of malathion by ground application and aerial spraying is generally the preferred method to eliminate adult mosquitoes associated with the West Nile Virus. It is applied by truck-mounted or aircraft mounted sprayers at a maximum rate of 0.23 pounds per acre (Malathion for Mosquito Control April 2007). Malathion can be used for public health mosquito control without posing risks to the general population or environment when applied according to the label. Because of the small amount released per acre of ground, the estimates found were below an amount that might pose a health concern. When used in mosquito control, malathion does not pose any risks to wildlife because it degrades rapidly especially in moist soil.

The hazards of Malathion are as follows. It can affect a person when inhaled and severe poisoning can occur from skin contact. Extreme caution should be used when handling this chemical. Exposure can cause rapid severe poisoning with headache, sweating, nausea and vomiting, loss of coordination and death. This chemical is on the Special Health Hazard Substance List because it is a deadly chemical (Fwd Malathion Online 1999).

The general population is not likely to be exposed to large amounts of malathion. However, some exposure to residues is possible; studies show that malathion has been detected in foods and atmosphere samples. Populations living near areas of heavy malathion are at an increased risk for exposure through dermal...

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