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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Malaria' Category


22
May

Toxic Pesticide-Encapsulated Paint Introduced to Combat Malaria

(Beyond Pesticides, May 22, 2012) The Spanish-based Inesfly company announced recently its plans to release commercially pesticide encapsulated paint, Inesfly 5A IGR, containing two neurotoxic organophosphates (OPs), chlorpyrifos and diazinon, and the insect growth regulator (IGR), pyriproxyfen, which it hopes will combat malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. The company’s owner Pilar Mateo, PhD, calls her product “a vaccine for houses and buildings” and explains that because the insecticides are released slowly from the paint, it remains effective for two to four years. This formulation of Dr. Mateo’s paint could not be registered for use in the U.S. because both indoor residential uses of chlorpyrifos and diazinon have been banned because of risks posed to children’s health, although the company has another formulation that substitutes pyrethroids for the organophosphates. Though probably well-intentioned —Dr. Mateo has already invested $6 million of her family’s money and $12 million in grants from nonprofits, on research, creating educational programs about hygiene, and donating paint to more than 8,000 homes in Latin America and Africa””the product puts the people it is supposed to protect from disease at risk for other health problems. Organophosphate insecticides have been linked to a host of neurodevelopmental problems, especially in children. Because […]

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17
May

World Health Organization Combats Mosquito Resistance to Insecticides with More Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, May 17, 2012) Rather than investing in safe, long-term solutions to prevent malaria mortality, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a strategic plan that calls for multiple toxic pesticides to combat mosquito resistance to insecticides that is showing up in sub-Saharan Africa. Insecticide resistance, according to the WHO report, is already rampant in 64 malaria-ridden countries and may result in as many as 26 million more cases of malaria a year, which could end up costing between $30 and $60 million annually for tests and medication. Mosquitoes in sub-Saharan African countries are becoming resistant to pyrethroid insecticides, which are used extensively for household spraying and treating bed nets, as well as to the organochloride compound DDT -which is still used in many parts of the world to control mosquitoes. In Somalia, Sudan and Turkey, resistance has spread to carbamates and organophosphates in addition to pyrethroids and organochloride pesticides. Rather than reducing the reliance on these products, WHO is recommending rotating classes of pesticides used to spray inside homes and developing a new non-pyrethroid insecticide to treat bed nets. Implementation for these suggestions are estimated to cost around $200 million, which is in addition to the $6 billion […]

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01
Mar

Transgenic Fungi Being Developed to Fight Malaria

(Beyond Pesticides, March 1, 2011) As insect resistance to pesticides steadily increases, and the underlying conditions of poverty, poor water management, and indecent living conditions contribute to the spread of malaria, the search for silver bullet solutions escalates. Researchers are exploring genetic engineering as the next frontier for a product-based approach to fighting malaria, which annually kills nearly one million people worldwide. While releasing genetically engineered organisms into the environment raises serious concerns that must be fully studied, some in the public health community believe this could help slow the spread of malaria as part of an integrated campaign. At the same time, the long-term underlying causes that support the spread of malaria must be addressed. The new research indicates that a genetically engineered fungus carrying genes for a human anti-malarial antibody or a scorpion anti-malarial toxin could be an effective tool for combating malaria, at a time when the effectiveness of current pesticides against malaria mosquitoes is declining. The researchers also say that this general approach could be used for controlling other devastating insect and tick bug-borne diseases, such as or dengue fever and Lyme disease. “Though applied here to combat malaria, our transgenic fungal approach is a very […]

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16
Apr

Take Action: Tell President Obama to Fight Malaria without DDT

(Beyond Pesticides, April 16, 2010) Every day, children still die of malaria, a devastating disease that is both preventable and curable. In 2009, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a renewed international effort to combat malaria with an incremental reduction of the reliance on the synthetic pesticide DDT. However, efforts to invest in real solutions are often derailed by those promoting DDT as a “silver bullet” for malaria prevention. Tell President Obama that the President’s Malaria Initiative must invest in safe solutions to malaria, not increase reliance on DDT. Sign by April 22nd and you will be included in the petition to mark World Malaria Day. Sign the petition here. DDT, or dichloro diphenyl trichloroethane, while highly persistent in the environment, was initially found to be effective against mosquitoes and the diseases they carry, such as malaria. However, insect resistance to the chemical has been documented since 1946. DDT was banned in the U.S. in 1972 after it was linked to the decline of the bald eagle and other raptors, and it continues to be linked to health problems. A 2007 study finds that women who were exposed to DDT before the age […]

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08
May

International Agencies to Reduce DDT Use in Malaria Control

(Beyond Pesticides, May 8, 2009) The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), in partnership with the Global Environment Facility, have announced a renewed international effort to combat malaria with an incremental reduction of reliance on the synthetic pesticide DDT. As recently as two years ago, WHO was criticized for promoting DDT as the answer for malaria control in Africa, leading activists to call for increased use of alternatives. DDT has been recognized as a significant human and environmental health risk, including increased risk of breast cancer a wealth of other health concerns, and have built up in waterways and, in particular, the arctic. Now, ten projects, all part of the global program “Demonstrating and Scaling-up of sustainable Alternatives to DDT in Vector Management,” involving some 40 countries in Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and Central Asia, are set to test non-chemical methods ranging from eliminating potential mosquito breeding sites and securing homes with mesh screens to deploying mosquito-repellent trees and fish that eat mosquito larvae. The new projects follow a successful demonstration of alternatives to DDT in Mexico and Central America. There, pesticide-free techniques and management regimes have helped cut cases of malaria by over 60 […]

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