Endangered Spaces
March 31 thru April 27, 2003 - Reception 6-8pm April 22nd

Malathion Nights

In 1990 I was living in LA and became very ill from being exposed to the helicopter nighttime spraying of Malathion. During this period hospitals reported an increase in the number miscarriages, and illnesses with "flu-like" symptoms.

The occurrences of birth defects and cancer are higher than normal in farming communities.

What Is Malathion?
Malathion is an organophosphate insecticide, one of a class of pesticides that are highly toxic to vertebrates and are chemically related to nerve gases used during World War II. Like all organophosphate pesticides, malathion kills insects and other animals, including humans, through its effect on the nervous system. It inhibits an enzyme, acetylcholinesterase (AChE), that breaks down acetylcholine, a chemical essential in transmitting nerve impulses across junctions between nerves. Without functioning AChE, acetylcholine accumulates, producing rapid twitching of voluntary muscles, incoordination, convulsions, paralysis, and ultimately death.

Source: Malathion Fact Sheet. Loretta Brenner. Journal of Pesticide Reform, Volume 12, Number 4, Winter 1992. Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Eugene, OR

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