Brazil’s state of Rio Grande do Sul has ordered to end the use of mosquito-combating larvicide pyriproxyfen, said regional government on Sunday. The move comes after a report revealed that larvicide is responsible for birth defects in newly borns, not Zika Virus.
Argentine group of Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns (PCST)led the research. It claimed that pyriproxyfen – a pesticide that prevent mosquito larvae development in drinking water, could be a core source of birth defects.
However, the link between the larvicide and Zika is yet to be confirmed. State’s Health Secretary Joao Gabbardo said that the pesticide was suspected to be causing birth defects, which led to its suspension, according to a reprot by Eco Watch.
RS suspende larvicida que pode ter relação com a microcefalia https://t.co/QFvP23W69R
— Gabbardo Sec Saúde (@GabbardoJoao) February 14, 2016
“Previous Zika epidemics did not cause birth defects in newborns, despite infecting 75 percent of the population in those countries. Also, in other countries such as Colombia there are no records of microcephaly; however, there are plenty of Zika cases.” the Argentine report said.
Brazil’s Health Minister Marcelo Castro called it a “rumour”. He said “larvicide causes no danger to the public”.
“That is a rumor lacking logic and sense. It has no basis. (The larvicide) is approved by (the National Sanitary Monitoring Agency) and is used worldwide. Pyriproxyfen is a well-recognised pesticide in the whole world,” the minister said in a report by Telesur.
“There is no scientific basis for such a claim,”said Sumitomo Chemical. It stressed that the product has been approved by the World Health Organization since 2004 and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency since 2001.
While in Columbia, officials said that no cases of microcephaly has been recorded in Zika-affected women. In Brazil, Zika cases are suspected to be linked with microcephaly . Among all other American countries, Brazil is most affected. The countries are following precautions to stay away from mosquito.
Zika virus is believed to have links with microcephaly, which causes abnormally shaped head in newly borns. After that steady influx of affected newborn, World Health Organisation(WHO) declared worldwide emergency. It has warned internationally to avoid mosquito bite and keep the surroundings clean.