Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Use of malathion in the control of disease vectors



Download PDFDownload PDF

news release 9 NATIONAL HEALTH AND MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL

/81

B o j i o / g l

USE OF MALATHION IN THE CONTROL OF DISEASE VECTORS

The continued application of malathion as an agent

to control the spread of insect vectors (carriers) of

Australian encephalitis, dengue fever and other debilitating

diseases has been strongly recommended by the National Health

and Medical Research Council.

Recent public concern over the use of malathion as

an insecticide in mosquito control programs in Australia was

raised at the 92nd Session of the Council in Canberra today.

. The Council said that unusually wet conditions in

some parts of Australia had encouraged the widespread breeding

of mosquito vectors of these diseases and that endemic cases

of dengue fever had been reported already in northern

Queensland.

The Council stressed the potential for the indigenous

transmission of dengue fever unless the vectors of this severe

disease were controlled.

T h e N H & MRC considered that biological methods for

the control of insect pests were as yet inadequate for eliminating

the risk of epidemic disease and that biological control must

be supplemented with the use of safe and effective chemicals

in order to avoid severe public health consequences.

It had again evaluated the safety and. efficacy of

malathion and confirmed its previous recommendation that the

chemical, when applied at the recommended rate, was of very

low mamnialian toxicity and that the exposure’of residents in

any area was toxicologically insignificant.

2 .

The NH & MRC supported the views of the World Health

Organization which stated that malathion's efficacy, safety and

absence of any cumulative effect in man had been repeatedly

demonstrated and the Council had noted that the toxicity of

malathion was considerably lower than that of some of the

chemicals often used as alternatives.

CANBERRA, 30 October 1981