Assessment of acute health effects from the Medfly Eradication Project in Santa Clara County, California

Arch Environ Health. Jul-Aug 1992;47(4):279-84. doi: 10.1080/00039896.1992.9938362.


Surveys were performed to assess the acute health effects of aerial application of malathion bait over a large urban area. Three indirect attempts to assess utilization of health care services were made: (1) surveillance of a major hospital emergency department was undertaken, (2) ambulance dispatches were reviewed, and (3) emergency treatments for asthma at a university hospital were reviewed. These assessments were negative but insensitive. Prevalence of self-reported symptoms was assessed with two surveys that were subject to severe time constraints. Personal interviews of the same individuals, before and after the spraying, were conducted: one was conducted by telephone and the other by residential visit. Results indicated no detectable increase in acute morbidity. Also, after the spraying, there was a decrease in anxiety-related symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aircraft
  • Animals
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Anxiety Disorders / etiology
  • Asthma / chemically induced
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • California / epidemiology
  • Diptera
  • Emergency Medical Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Insect Control / standards*
  • Malathion / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Mass Media
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Malathion