As a member of the Grenericville city council, my vote is to vote against the use of the insecticide spray Malathion. Yes, Malathion is a pesticide, and a powerful one at that. Malathion is a chemical and the impact it has on society’s health is almost as great as impact of mosquito-borne diseases, like the West Nile which Genericville also has reported cases of every summer. According to a study done in 2000 by the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, laboratory animals exposed to the chemicals were found to have developed tumors (n.d., Feldman).
Another potential hazard is the potential 90 cases of Malathion related illnesses of which four could be fatal. A study done by Cornel University states that Malathion is moderately toxic to birds. The study also showed that the pesticide is highly toxic to honey bees, some species of fish and to aquatic invertebrates. The potential hazard to both the people of Genericville and to the wildlife is not a risk I am willing to take. I do not feel that the pros of spraying Malathion out weigh the cons.
There have not been enough studies done on the effects, both short and long term, of Malathion to prove it is a safe chemical. The studies I have seen show cases where Malathion has killed wildlife and created health problems for those exposed. An article by the Department of Preventive Medicine University of Southern California, Los Angeles shows a potential health risk of Malathion. The study states “it was found that children who had been exposed to Malathion during the second trimester of pregnancy were showing over two and one-half times more gastrointestinal disorders (affecting the stomach and small intestines) in comparison to children not exposed to Malathion during pregnancy.” (Department of Preventative Medicine, 1992).
These same types of studies show what exposure to Malathion can do to both humans and the ecological system. Things like tumors, kidney and lung damage, intestinal disorders in children, birth defects in humans and animals, brain damage and worse of all death. These effects are proof that exposure to this particular pesticide is harmful to the people of Genericville. For example, a 1995 study by the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science at Osmangazi University in Turkey found that a particular species of dwarf lizard developed liver and kidney damage after ingesting a small amount of Malathion. In the study the lizards consumed significant amounts of other small insects and were exposed to levels of only 1 milligram of Malathion per kilogram of their body weight. The amount of Malathion needed to kill most mammals is well above 500 milligram per kilogram of their body weight. Reptiles are an important part of the food chain and I fear that exposing them to even small amounts of Malathion could pose