Biocides are substances or formulations intended to destroy, deter, render harmless, prevent the action of, or otherwise exert a controlling effect on, any harmful organism by chemical or biological means. As part of marketing authorisation applications of these products, ANSES has been mandated to assess biocidal active substances and the preparations that contain them before they are placed on the market. This assessment is guided by European regulations that are currently being updated.
With no vaccine or treatment for chikungunya, the primary means of controlling the outbreak that took place in 2005-2006 on Réunion Island was to control the mosquitoes responsible for the transmission of this disease. Alongside these mosquito control operations, recommendations encouraging the use of mosquito nets or insecticide-impregnated clothing were issued by several organisations. Within this context, the Agency was asked to clarify the conditions for use of these protective measures and to assess their toxicity with repeated use in the short, medium and long terms.
To be effective and sustainable, insecticide-based vector control must be based on the alternate use of active substances with various modes of action, in order to limit the development in these insect vectors of resistance to insecticides. To identify active substances potentially interesting for use in vector control, ANSES undertook extensive, coordinated research into the insecticides used for vector control, which led to 32 substances being identified. ANSES then selected a reduced number of adulticide or larvicide compounds that could potentially be used in the medium term and whose use would comply with the European regulations, and carried out risk assessments on four of them.
Primarily due to climate change and the globalisation of trade, the re-emergence of vector-borne diseases (malaria, dengue, Zika, chikungunya, etc.) has recently seen an increase. In the absence of any vaccine or treatment against most of these diseases, curbing their insect vectors, especially through the use of insecticides, remains the primary means of control. To be effective and sustainable, control of these insects must be based on alternating the use of active substances with different modes of action, in order to limit the development of insecticide resistance in these insect vectors. In this context and to ensure that public vector control operators have a wide range of products at their disposal, the Agency assesses the effectiveness and risks of use of these products, both in the regulatory framework applicable to all biocidal products and in the framework of specific vector control waivers for use.
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