Is Naled worth the Risk in fighting Zika?

There is no question that the risks of Zika are real and that we need to do everything possible to reduce its transmission. The question becomes relevant when we determine what does “doing everything possible” really mean?

The recent aerial spraying in Miami of a pesticide that effects insects, some birds, freshwater fish and possibly people raises concerns about the cost benefits associated with its use. The issue becomes more clouded when we read that the EU determined in 2012 that Naled poses a “potential and unacceptable risk” to humans and the environment, and because officials felt there was insufficient evidence that it worked well enough to justify that risk.”

That really sums up differences in the two continents. Generally EU guidelines require a chemical to be proven safe while we generally assume it is safe without evidence of harm.

Zika Chemical Spray

This argument also raises some interesting questions about our own behavior. We know how to prevent mosquito breeding in cities; don’t leave standing water, be diligent in cutting high grass, etc. In other words, we should engage in Integrated Pest Management.

That would reduce the need for any pesticide and thus reduce risks associated with pesticides.

Read the full article:
A Mosquito Killer, Unwelcome to Many
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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