Better Mosquito, Tick Repellents in the Wind?
Judy McBride, ARS News Service, USDA, (301) 504-1628, firstname.lastname@example.org
Slap, slap . . . scratch, scratch. It's a familiar aggravation
for billions of people who live with mosquitos. But effective
repellents to keep those pests from biting--and possibly transmitting
serious diseases--have been few and far between. Now, the Agricultural
Research Service is seeking a patent on a method for selecting
the most effective version of a repellent discovered by ARS researchers
more than 20 years ago.
Using the method, ARS entomologist Jerome Klun recently identified
one version that is three to four times more effective at preventing
yellow-fever-transmitting mosquitos from biting than the original
repellent. It's also the optimal version against the species that
transmits West Nile virus. The original repellent, called 220
for short, is based on piperidine, a hexagonally-shaped molecule
found in trace amounts in black pepper. Two other chemical groups
are attached to this hexagon, but each can attach at two different
angles. So the repellent can appear in four different versions,
known as optical isomers, that can be identified by the way they
bend light rays. The number of potential repellents is not limited
to these four optical isomers. Other chemical groups can attach
to the piperidine scaffold at various locations and angles, yielding
dozens of candidates for testing, according to Klun, at ARS Chemicals
Affecting Insect Behavior Laboratory in Beltsville, Md. http://www.barc.usda.gov/psi/caib.
Unlike DEETthe principal mosquito repellent for half a
century--piperidine-based repellents don't dissolve plastics,
such as sunglass lenses or auto paint. And early reports from
an interested company suggest they easily formulate into creams.
The original piperidine-based repellent has undergone toxicological
testing in a U.S. Army laboratory and passed muster for experimental
use on people. Products intended for commercial sale in the United
States would have to undergo additional toxicological testing
required by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Clean Sweep 2001: Dishing the Dirt on Nationwide Pesticide Disposal
Nancy Fitz and Jude Andreasen, Office of Pesticide Programs,
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), email@example.com,
(703) 305-7385 or firstname.lastname@example.org,
(703) 308-9342.or at the website http://www.epa.gov/pesticides
This report summarizes of state and local government efforts
to protect the environment by collecting and disposing of unwanted
agricultural pesticides. Over the past twenty years, state and
local governments have collected and safely disposed of more than
24.6 million pounds of unwanted pesticides. These efforts, known
as "Clean Sweep programs," focus on agricultural pesticides
but may also include other pesticides, such as those used by homeowners,
golf courses, or highway departments along their rights-of-way.
There is no federal mandate to conduct these collections.
Clean Sweeps are the results of state and local initiatives.
The states have adopted a variety of approaches to finance and
implement their programs. While some programs are conducted on
the county level, the Clean Sweep Report classifies the information
by state. All of the programs have the same goal: fostering environmental
protection and pollution prevention by removing these potentially
hazardous materials from the environment.
Forty-six states have conducted at least one Clean Sweep program.
The number of states participating in Clean Sweep activities increased
rapidly from the late 1980s to the middle 1990s.
Based on data provided by the states, EPA estimates that Clean
Sweep programs nationwide collected over 24.6 million pounds of
unwanted pesticides from 1980 through 2000. A relatively small
amount of pesticide was collected through 1991 about 2.0
million pounds. The annual total averaged almost 2.9 million pounds
between 1995 and 2000.
In nearly seventy-five percent of the states with Clean Sweep
programs, the states Department of Agriculture or the pesticide
regulatory agency has the lead for organizing and overseeing the
program. Twenty-five states use single-day events as their only
collection method, but other states use combinations of single-day
events, permanent sites, and on-site pick up. Most collected material
is incinerated as hazardous waste. Based on data from fifteen
states, the cost per pound to dispose of unwanted pesticides has
decreased significantly over the past decade. However, the cost
of Clean Sweep programs is minor compared to the cost of cleaning
up the pollution that can result from improper disposal of unwanted
pesticides. The quantity of unwanted pesticides collected and
disposed by Clean Sweep programs is only a tiny fraction of the
pesticides used in the United States.