Risk Assessment of Malathion
Currently before the Genericville city council is a proposed pesticide application program to reduce the mosquito population. The current pesticide of choice for this is Malathion. While there are many different viewpoints on the effects of the pesticide Malathion, it is my decision as a city council member to vote for the usage of Malathion as part of the pesticide application program. Included in my vote is the condition that extensive educational efforts are given to the public, notice of when and where the pesticide will be applied, and its potential risk and hazards be given to the citizens of Genericville.
After doing extensive research and a risk assessment of Malathion, I believe that the benefits outweigh the risk in using this pesticide. First, I will give a little background on the mosquito. Mosquitoes are two-winged flying insects that need blood to fertilize their eggs. There are over 3000 different species of mosquitoes in the world. In the United States, there are 150 different species of mosquitoes (Crans, 2004). Female and male mosquitoes have an average lifespan of two weeks and feed on plants. It is the female mosquito that bites and feeds off humans, birds, and other animals blood to help fertilize their eggs. Because of this, female mosquitoes can spread diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, and West Nile virus (CDC, 2010). According to the American Mosquito Control Association (2010) there are “at least 43 species of mosquitoes have been found infected with the West Nile virus in the United States.” The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website (2010) stated that as of October 26, 2010, there were 832 cases of WNV and 34 fatalities in the United States excluding Alaska and Hawaii. While there have been no incidents of WNV in Genericville within the last year, projections for WNV in Genericville are estimated to be about 50 cases with two fatalities. The reasons for...