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Emerging Infections: Microbial Threats to Health in the United States
United States, and supply is often a problem. Nevertheless, its failure to be re-registered would be a serious loss to the vector-control armamentarium in this country.
In addition, the new registration frequently limits the circumstances under which products may be applied. In many instances, compounds that were once approved for pest-control applications are now restricted to certain narrow agricultural uses, such as for pest control in a single crop. The result is that many pesticides that might have been used to control emerging vector-borne diseases are either no longer registered or are not available in sufficient quantity.
In accordance with federal endangered species legislation, the EPA further restricts pesticide use through its Endangered Species Protection Plan. The plan prohibits the use of a wide range of pesticides within the habitat of any endangered species. Prohibitions extend in some cases to urban and suburban environments, in which outbreaks of vector-borne disease pose a particular threat. Efforts have been made to develop a workable, legal strategy for vector control in the event of a public health emergency. Specifically, EPA has developed an emergency exemption procedure in collaboration with the California Mosquito and Vector Control Association and the American Mosquito Control Association. The plan calls for specific steps to be followed when surveillance data suggest that the possibility of an outbreak of a vector-borne disease is great. After the local vector-control agency has determined a need to invoke the exemption, it must follow a 12-step procedure that includes review of the area for endangered species, consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), submission of a request for a public health exemption to the state public health agency or the CDC, a review and determination by the state agency or the CDC (which must be performed within 10 days if an emergency is anticipated or within 24 hours if the emergency is in progress), review and revision (if necessary) of the original plan and submission of a final plan to the state or the CDC, submission (within 15 days) by the CDC of a request to the EPA for an exemption, EPA consultation with the FWS, EPA approval or denial of the request (within 15 days), and, finally, implementation of the plan (B. Eldridge, Director, Mosquito Research Program, Department of Entomology, University of California at Davis, personal communication, 1992).
The committee recommends that the Environmental Protection Agency develop and implement alternative, expedited procedures for the licensing of pesticides for use in vector-borne infectious disease emergencies. These procedures would include a means for stockpiling designated pesticides for such use.
As with vaccines, there is little economic incentive for firms to develop new pesticides for public health use because such use makes up a very