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Insecticide Used To Fight Zika Could Pose Risk For Humans, Wildlife

Alexandre Carvalho (Oxitec)
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Some pesticide being used to kill mosquitoes and fight the spread of Zika in Miami-Dade County is also harmful to honey bees, birds, some fish and people, according to the Miami Herald.

The insecticide naled has been approved for use in the United States since 1959 but is banned by the European Union, the newspaper reports.

Miami-Dade mosquito control officials and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicate the risks are minimal and the pesticide is sprayed in small concentrations, with little of it actually reaching the ground, according to the newspaper.

However, studies show long-term exposure to the chemical create health risks for humans and wildlife, the newspaper reports. 

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.