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Die-Off Linked to West Nile Virus Pesticides
"It really doesn't take much to kill lobsters," pathobiologist Sylvain DeGuise told attendees at the Long Island Sound Health Symposium. Researchers at University of Connecticut found a mere 33 parts-per-billion of methoprene killed off half the lobsters in a 20-gallon tank. "That's [equivalent] to one drop in a billion, or one person in China," DeGuise said.
is an insect growth regulator, which is applied to many home and community
pest control problems as a general use, slow-acting insecticide. This
chemical has been used to control a number of pests, including mosquitoes
(AltosidTM).Pathobiologists also want to analyze the impact of other
pesticides such as resmethrin and malathion in both juvenile and adult
By contrast, state law in New York requires the state Department of Health to maintain a database of all pesticide applications anywhere in New York. The database, however, is only accessible to researchers. "It's an incredibly unwieldy database. You have to input the zip code you're looking at, a range of dates, as well as all of the [known] names for a given pesticide," said Karen Chytalo, a Department of Environmental Conservation marine habitat and protection section chief.
DeGuise said researchers
are interested in knowing how much pesticide may have flowed into Long
Island Sound in 1999 when West Nile fever first emerged in New York.