Articles written by: Raven Neece
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Risk Assessment of Malathion
Malathion is an insecticide spray to control the West Nile Virus, it is being proposed by the City Council. A citizen of Genericville offered to fund an extensive program to spray the air and ground with Malathion and to offer educational programs and precautions. A risk assessment on the use of Malathion in the city involves four steps. The first step is hazard identification, the second step is dose response, the third step involves exposure, and the fourth step is risk characterization. Based on the risk assessment the city should consider using the Malathion because the risks of the West Nile Virus are greater than the risks of the use of Malathion. There are also many political, social, and economic aspects involved in the consideration to use the Malathion. The political concerns are if the politicians are making the right choice. The social concerns are to get the residents of the city on board. The economic aspects are what hazards, if any, and the long term exposure. The spread of West Nile is a huge concern in the city because of the wet lands that are located here. There are projected to be 50 cases of West Nile this year in the city if something is not done about it. If Malathion is used it will drop to five. After preforming a risk assessment on Malathion based on the four steps, I believe that it would be better to use the Malathion, along with educational programs and precautions.
In a report made by the agency for toxic substances and disease registry (ATSDR) showed that a human that had five to ten minutes of acute exposure to Malathion had nasal irritation. A human with intermediate exposure of 42 days at two hours per day had no adverse effects observed. Also in a controlled-exposure study regarding respiratory effects, there were no signs of toxicity during the study, except complaints of nasal irritation when exposed to the highest concentration during the first five to ten minutes.
In regards to gastrointestinal effects, there is a self-study of self-reported seamen who may have been exposed to a single cloud of Malathion. They reported problems such as diarrhea, constipation, or painful bowel movements 12 days following the incident. There was no evidence of actual exposure to the chemical.
In regards to renal effects, a study of workers exposed to Malathion, for up to 29 years, found no increase in renal disease. In regards to body weight, men were exposed for one hour twice a day for 42 days, and there were no exposure-related changes in body weight. In regards to reproductive effects, low birth rate, and cancer, studies showed that there was no significant association between exposure and Malathion.