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Environmental Safety Review of Common Mosquito Control Pesticides

Environmental safety review of methoprene and bacterially-derived pesticides commonly used for sustained mosquito control.

We have learnt about mosquito and disease control this week. One of the methods is to spray insecticides to reduce the number of vectors. But there is a concern that insecticides may affect the environment. Here is a research on Environmental safety review of methoprene and bacterially-derived pesticides commonly used for sustained mosquito control. The main goal of SDG 15 is Life On Land. Hence, the effect of insecticides should be discussed. This paper published by Sharon P. Lawler demonstrates whether there is toxicity in insecticides, which affects the environment. Please read the summary below.

This review evaluates the environmental safety of using methoprene and bacterially-derived pesticides to control mosquito larvae. Mosquitoes are known to vector pathogens to humans and wildlife, and controlling their populations is necessary to reduce the transmission of diseases. Methoprene is a commonly used biorational pesticide for mosquito control, but its potential toxic effects on non-target organisms have led to debates regarding its use. The article examines laboratory toxicity and environmental effects and evaluates non-target toxicity findings in light of measured environmental concentrations of methoprene and field studies of its non-target effects. The review also discusses newer formulations of bacterially-derived pesticides for sustained mosquito control and evaluates their environmental effects.

The review finds that methoprene, when used in mosquito control, is usually present in the environment at concentrations of 2-5 µg/kg, and its motility is limited. These levels were not toxic to most vertebrates and invertebrates tested in laboratories, except for a few species of zooplankton, larval stages of some other crustaceans, and small Diptera. Studies in natural habitats have not documented population reductions except in small Diptera. Bacterially-derived larvicides, including Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, Lysinibacillus sphaericus, and spinosad, were found to provide sustained control of mosquitoes with limited environmental effects, except for spinosad, which had broader effects on insects in mesocosms and temporary pools.

The findings of this review can be useful for stakeholders involved in protecting public and environmental health in a ‘One Health’ framework. Mosquitoes are known to cause significant health and ecological impacts, and controlling their populations is essential. However, the use of pesticides for mosquito control should be carefully evaluated to minimize their potential impact on non-target organisms and the environment. The review highlights the need for continued research to develop environmentally safe mosquito control strategies.

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What measures can be taken to minimize the potential impact of pesticides on non-target organisms while still effectively controlling mosquito populations? Should alternative approaches such as the use of biological control agents be considered? How can we balance the need for mosquito control with the potential risks of pesticide use to the environment and non-target organisms?

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Sustainable Development in Health and Ecology

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