Malathion can be used for public health mosquito control programs without posing unreasonable risks to the general population when applied according to the label. EPA has estimated the exposure and risks to both adults and children posed by ULV aerial and ground applications of malathion. Because of the very small amount of active ingredient released per acre of ground, the estimates found that for all scenarios considered, exposures were several times below an amount that might pose a health concern. These estimates assumed that a toddler would ingest some soil and grass in addition to skin and
inhalation exposure. However, at high doses, malathion, like other organophosphates, can overstimulate the nervous system causing nausea, dizziness, or confusion. Severe high-dose poisoning with any organophosphate can cause convulsions, respiratory paralysis, and death. (www.epa.gov/pesticides/health/mosquitoes/malathion4mosquitoes.htm)
Does Malathion Pose Risks to Wildlife or the Environment?
Malathion used in mosquito control programs does not pose unreasonable risks to wildlife or the environment. Malathion degrades rapidly in the environment, especially in moist soil, and it displays low toxicity to birds and mammals. Malathion is highly toxic to insects, including beneficial insects such as honeybees. For that reason, EPA has established specific precautions on the label to reduce such risks.(www.epa.gov/pesticides/health/mosquitoes/malathion4mosquitoes.htm)
For mosquito control, malathion is applied at a maximum rate of 0.23 pounds (or about 2.5 fluid ounces) of active ingredient per acre, which minimizes exposure and risks to people and the environment.
The EPA has established a level of 0.1 milligrams of
malathion per liter of drinking water (0.1 mg/L) for lifetime
exposure of adults as a level that is not expected to cause
effects that are...