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EPA says malathion carries risks but is within acceptable limits

May 11, 2000
Web posted at: 8:16 PM EDT (0016 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a preliminary report on malathion Thursday, indicating the widely used pesticide may carry carcinogenic risks but that the risks are within acceptable limits.

"There is insufficient scientific evidence to assess the potential for causing cancer in humans," the report said.

Carol Browner, the administrator of the EPA, said, "There is suggested evidence of carcinogicity. We do not make a final determination." A final report on malathion, she said, will be drawn up after scientific experts study the data.

Malathion, which was first registered in the United States in 1956, is used on crops, home gardens, and golf courses, and also has been sprayed by helicopter over wide areas for mosquito control. New York City used it last summer to kill mosquitos carrying the deadly West Nile virus. It's also been used widely in Florida to kill medflies, which jeopardize citrus fruits.



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