Risk Assessment of Malathion

Topics: Mosquito, West Nile virus, Infection Pages: 4 (1115 words) Published: April 5, 2009
Risk Assessment of Malathion

Michelle Hobbs

Axia College of University of Phoenix

There appears to be a conflict concerning Malathion spraying in Genericville due to its potential health and environmental risks. However, the town also runs a risk of exposure to the West Nile virus. It is therefore necessary to compare the actual risk of the chemical versus the risk of the virus in order to justify any decision concerning Malathion spraying.

Hazard Identification

Even though some people may experience adverse health effects from contact with Malathion, it is generally accepted that there is no long-term health effects on humans and the majority of animals during low dose spraying (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2003). Studies on laboratory animals revealed that changes in hormone levels occur with repeated oral doses of Malathion. The studies used a much higher quantity of Malathion than the amount humans are likely to come in contact with during spraying (New York State Department of Health, 2004). Health Canada also conducted a study on the effects of Malathion. They found that Malathion is minimally toxic to birds and mammals thus it is not considered detrimental to these animals. However, to aquatic invertebrates such as amphibians and some fish species, Malathion is considered toxic. Malathion has also been found to be toxic to non-target insects, butterflies and honeybees (Health Connection, 2008). The hazards associated with the West Nile virus are encephalitis which refers to an inflammation of the brain, and meningitis which is an inflammation of the membrane around the brain and the spinal cord (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007). The less severe form of West Nile virus infection is a fever which does not affect the neurological system. Each of these infections can be deadly without proper medical care. However, less than 1% of those infected by the West Nile virus develop the severe...
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