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No Malathion Link to Birth Defects Found

August 21, 1987|Associated Press

SACRAMENTO — Medical researchers have found no increased birth defects or low birth weights in the San Francisco Bay Area localities that were sprayed with the pesticide malathion during the 1981-82 Medfly crisis.

"No biologically plausible pattern of association was found," state Health Services Director Kenneth Kizer said Wednesday.

The study, by medical researchers from Kizer's department, is being published in the August, 1987, issue of American Journal of Public Health.

From July, 1981, to August, 1982, the state sprayed malathion over more than 13,000 acres, mainly in Santa Clara County, to eradicate an infestation of the Mediterranean fruit fly.

The state this month has been spraying malathion over three square miles in Maywood, Bell and Huntington Park in Los Angeles County because Medflies have been found.

In the state study, researchers analyzed live births from mothers living in areas that were sprayed in Alameda, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The births were compared to 1981-82 births from other areas not exposed to the pesticide.

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