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Reducing Human Health Risk by Improving Quality of Pesticide Spray Equipment

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Malaria is a major factor in areas of poverty and much attention has been given to providing suitable drug treatments to treat those infected with the disease, distributing bed nets treated with an insecticide especially to protect children and pregnant women most vulnerable to the disease and to the control of the mosquito vectors by indoor residual spraying (IRS) of insecticides. Since 2005, the population covered by IRS has doubled and now about 30 million people are protected by IRS. As those applying insecticides and those living in treated houses are exposed to the chemicals, a recent meeting at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health discussed the development of generic risk assessments for IRS, as well as space sprays and use of larvicides for vector control, similar to that published by World Health Organization (WHO) for assessment of any risk of insecticide treatment and subsequent use of bed nets to adults, children and the new born babies while sleeping under a treated net. While there have been many studies of exposure of workers to agricultural sprays of pesticides, very little actual data are available for insecticide spray operators in vector control. It is very worrying that funding has not been provided to improve 1950's technology as this offers a more immediate impact in areas where control of vector-borne disease is crucial in the fight against poverty, illness and loss of human lives.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 August 2009

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