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Enviromental Science Essay

992 words - 4 pages

Officials responsible for mosquito control programs make decisions to use pesticides based on an evaluation of the risks to the general public from diseases transmitted by mosquitoes or on an evaluation of the nuisance level that communities can tolerate from a mosquito infestation. Based on surveillance and monitoring, mosquito control officials select specific pesticides and other control measures that best suit local conditions in order to achieve effective control of mosquitoes with the least impact on human health and the environment. It is especially important to conduct effective mosquito prevention programs by eliminating breeding habitats or applying pesticides to control the early life stages of the mosquito. Prevention programs, such as elimination of any standing water that could serve as a breeding site, help reduce the adult mosquito population and the need to apply other pesticides for adult mosquito control. Since no pesticide can be considered 100 percent safe, pesticide applicators and the general public should always exercise care and follow specified safety precautions during use to reduce risks.Malathion is an organophosphate insecticide that has been registered for use in the United States since 1956. It is used in agriculture, residential gardens, public recreation areas, and in public health pest control programs. When applied in accordance with the rate of application and safety precautions specified on the label, Malathion can be used to kill mosquitoes without posing unreasonable risks to human health or the environment.The mosquito goes through four distinct stages during its life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Malathion is an adulticide, used to kill adult mosquitoes. In mosquito control programs conducted by state or local authorities, Malathion is applied by truck-mounted or aircraft-mounted sprayers. Malathion is applied as an ultra-low volume (ULV) spray. ULV sprayers dispense very fine aerosol droplets that stay aloft and kill mosquitoes on contact. ULV applications involve small quantities of pesticide active ingredient in relation to the size of the area treated. For mosquito control, Malathion is applied at a maximum rate of 0.23 pounds (or about 2.5 fluid ounces) of active ingredient per acre, which minimizes exposure and risks to people and the environment.Malathion can be used for public health mosquito control programs without posing unreasonable risks to the general population when applied according to the label. EPA has estimated the exposure and risks to both adults and children posed by ULV aerial and ground applications of Malathion. Because of the very small amount of active ingredient released per acre of ground, the estimates found that for all scenarios considered, exposures were several times below an amount that might pose a health concern. These estimates assumed that a toddler would ingest some soil and grass in addition to skin and inhalation exposure. However, at high doses, Malathion,...

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