Malahion Risk Assessment Essay

1000 WordsMay 3, 20094 Pages
Malathion Risk Assessment In 2006, 177 fatalities were reported in the United States due to the West Nile Virus (Center of Disease Control and Prevention, 2007). While in recent years this virus has plagued our beautiful city of Genericville, it is projected that this year it will be worse with a possibility of 50 cases of sickness and two deaths. During the last city council meeting, it was proposed to begin using the insecticide spray Malathion. Before I could vote on the use of this product in our city, I needed more information. After reviewing the information provided and finding more on my own, I have made the decision to vote against using Malathion in Genericville. It is said that Malathion could decrease the projected number of West Nile cases to five with less than a 20% chance of a death in those cases. While those five cases are a lot less than the 50 projected without Malathion, it was also projected that there would be 90 cases of Malathion-related sicknesses, with a possible four fatal. That is almost double the projected sickness and death, and I cannot see taking that risk when there are too many unknowns about this product. As well as the risks to the public, there are risks to the ecosystem. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (2008), Malathion “does not pose unreasonable risks to wildlife or the environment,” but they go on to say that has a low toxicity to birds and mammals, but an extremely high toxicity to all insects. This can cause an unknown risk later, as some of the insects located in our city are beneficial to our agricultural growth and the loss of them could mean a loss of some of our crops. To those that depend on those crops every year this would definitely be an unreasonable risk. While the West Nile Virus has the potential of affecting everyone equally, the spraying of Malathion will more likely

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