We at Genericville City Council are here to determine whether or not Malathion insecticide spray should be used to reduce the mosquito population. In this article I am going to review all the processes to see what is really going to benefit this city in the long run. I will be going through and discussing four main points which will include hazard identification, dose-response, exposure, and risk characterization. When I am done I will conclude with my decision so that we may be able to move forward with our final decision. Hazard Identification
Does exposure to the substance cause increased likelihood of adverse health effect? There is no evidence yet that states of any major long term health risks. Right now we are looking at a projection of 90 health related illnesses associated with Malathion, and a projection of 4 deaths. Other than projections for our population, we really don’t have any other evidence or health risks associated with Malathion to help with a better understand of this pesticide. Dose-Response What is the relationship between the amount of exposure (dose) and seriousness of adverse health assessment?
While reading the proposal, I did not see any mention of what the exposure dose would be in order to see any symptoms in those who were exposed to it for short or long periods of time. This area needs to be researched more, along with statistics on the exposure and what needs symptoms came about when exposed. The only information given was that there would be educational classes given to help with that exposure. Exposure How much, how often, and how long are humans exposed to the substance in question? The Malathion would be applied through an aerial spray as well as a ground pesticide.
People will have to maintain distance from all that has come into contact with the pesticide for a t least a week. I did not see anything regarding how much, how often, or how long anyone is going to be exposed to the pesticide. We also have to deal with having extensive exposure to our environment and the long term damage it will have on the fragile ecosystem that we have here in Genericville. Risk Characterization What is the probability of individual or the population having adverse health effect? Knowing that mosquitoes carry the West Nile Virus (WNV), we are looking at 50 cases, with 2 fatalities.
If we use the Malathion we are looking at the 50 cases drop down to 5, and with less than a 20% chance of a fatality in each of the 5 cases. Based on what I have read in the proposal and my own assessment that I am presenting, I am voting against the plan. I think our resources can be better used to help educate on our issues with mosquitoes right now. Once we have more research on the use and the affects of Malathion, then a more effective decision can be made. Other alternatives should be looked into that can be safe for both our community as well as our environment.
On a social standpoint, our city is dependent on our summer tourism, using this pesticide, would drive that down. Since tourists come here they will not be informed or educated on the precautions to avoid Malathion. We may have more health problems with tourists who come in contact with the pesticide. Economically, the use of the pesticide might kill natural predators of the mosquito, which in turn will raise the mosquito population, spreading the WNV even more. We also don’t know the long term affects it will have on our ecosystem that brings our city tourism. Politically, I do not think this a good move for us right now.
We do not know enough about any symptoms or effects it will have due to exposure or what it will do to our environment. At this moment I think we need to focus better on the education of our community on how to be precautious of their environment. While this was a good and generous idea that was proposed, there is not enough information on this particular pesticide. Either more research on Malathion needs to be looked into, or a different alternative to our mosquito problem. I am sticking with my vote of not allowing Malathion to be used in our community at this time.