Tuesday, July 20, 2004

I vote for Malathion over Deet 

CBC News: Winnipeg resumes fogging after clash with protesters Now, I haven't researched all the pros and cons of malathion, because I don't want to ruin my amateur standing, but I generally tend to go along with Health Canada recommendations because they are using my tax dollars to investigate these kinds of things.
Its too bad that the media quote the most rabid and therefore least credible members of the environmental movement. This story quoted a protester as saying that malathion is ". . killing everyone in Winnipeg". Please, stop with the hyperbole!
Yes, Malathion is a pesticide, and a powerful one, but cities have to evaluate this kind of trade-off all the time. Malathion isn't benign, but its impact on societal health is certainly less than the impact of mosquito-borne diseases, like West Nile and encephalitis (which Winnipeg also has every summer), and its individual impact is substantially less than having to spray every square inch of your skin several times a day with Deet, particularly for young children and for people like city workers, police and the like who must work outside in the summer. Its not pleasant either way, but there it is.

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