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Week 2 assignment Risk Assessment

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Risk Assessment 1
Running head: RISK ASSESSMENT
Risk Assessment
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Risk Assessment
It is with much consideration on both sides that I have come to my decision and I hope
everyone will understand. While going over the information provided and assessing all areas of
possible contamination, sickness, and even the possibility of deaths caused by both hazards we
are faced with, I could only make one decision. Over the past few days I have contemplated the
good that can come from spraying our wetlands with the pesticide Malathion and I have also
considered the damage that can be done. It has been a long hard process of deliberating with my
wants and my conscious but I have finally decided. So without taking any further time from the
council members my decision is against spraying with the pesticide Malathion.
This decision is based on a risk assessment that I did with the information provided by
both sides. The need is great to stop the spread of the West Nile Virus (WNV) but it does not
justify the use of a pesticide that could have a devastating effect on our natural environment.
With very little evidence that this pesticide will not contaminate the very water we use to irrigate
our fields or even kill the local wildlife I must say that we need to look for alternative ways of
dealing with our mosquito problem.
Since the population of mosquitoes is dependent on the female of the species and the
“females are the only ones that feed on blood which allows them to produce eggs” (1997), then a
study on the females might be our best defense. If we can isolate the chemical needed to produce
their eggs and alter it then their need for feeding would cease. We could also look at the breeding
grounds of the mosquito and set up observation stations and control stations to try and reduce the
larva that will turn into mosquitoes. Since these larva float near the surface of the water a sweep
of the water with small nets at least twice a week could slow the growth population and reduce
the chances of tourists or our locals contracting the WNV. This is only a suggestion for the

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possible short term control of the mosquito population, however for a long term control I feel we
need to find a treatment for the disease. Any attempt in trying to eliminate the mosquito
population could result is a much larger environmental problem. We need t try and keep it safe
and simple.
One of the reasons I made this decision is based on the rates that mosquitoes bread. If
their species only lives around a week then their need to breed constantly is there. With this need
our need to continuous spraying of the pesticide is also present. The pesticide Malathion has
been reported that it breaks down into harmless other chemicals shortly after being sprayed,
however, this report does not state that it was sprayed over and over again in the same place.
Without a substantial report about continuous use in one area and the use has provided no
negative effect, whether ecological or biological, then we cannot accept the use of this pesticide.
If the pesticide is only used once I feel there would not be a substantial kill in the mosquito
population and if the spraying is a constant job of once a week then we are taking a chance on
destroying our eco system and along with it many different species including the people the rely
on the tourists. This does not take into account the possibilities of the people getting sick or even
worse due to the exposure of the pesticide. Since this poison will be distributed via aerial drop,
the wind currents can carry the pesticide into the human population causing havoc and possible
death especially to the young. This is an unacceptable chance that we do not have to take and
will not take just yet. We need to continue our fight against the WNV by finding a treatment or
even a cure, not by poisoning our environment. Sometimes the war that is won is the one fought
behind the front lines.

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Anonymous
Really useful study material!

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