Public Health Seminar Series:

Risks and Benefits of Insecticide Use for Disease Vector Control by Jonathan Chevrier

CO-SPONSOR: GHREAT - The Global Health Research Education and Translation program at the University of California, Irvine. Learn more at:

Monday, May 16, 2016 12:00PM - 1:00PM Calit2 Auditorium OCW Video Archive
Seminar Abstract

In the early 2000s, a massive malaria control campaign was undertaken following the establishment of malaria reduction targets by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Millenium Development Goals, and a WHO position shift in favor of the scale up of "Indoor Residual Spraying" (IRS) using all available insecticides including dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane (DDT). As a consequence, the number of countries using IRS rose from 49 to 88 and the number of people exposed to insecticides in this context rose to almost 200 million. Although effective in curbing malaria, the potential side effects of this campaign are unknown. Due to their high food consumption per unit body weight, high skin surface to volume ratio and limited detoxifying capabilities, fetuses and children may be particularly at risk of adverse health effects resulting from exposure to IRS insecticides. However, very little data is available on the impact of exposure to these insecticides on children health in Africa, where populations may be particularly vulnerable to toxic effects due to poverty, malnutrition and poor health. This seminar focuses on recent preliminary results on the potential impact of exposure to DDT in the Venda Health Examination of Mothers, Babies and their Environment (VHEMBE) a birth cohort study of 750 mother-child pairs taking place in the Vhembe district of Limpopo province, South Africa. The implication of these results to disease vector control in North America will be discussed.

Speaker Biography - Jonathan Chevrier

Jonathan Chevrier
Jonathan Chevrier Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Canada
Dr. Chevrier is Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at McGill University, an Associate Member of the McGill School of Environment and Canada Research Chair in Environmental Health Sciences.  He uses traditional and causal inference methods to investigate the human health effects of exposure to common environmental contaminants such as pesticides, flame retardants, plastic components and industrial by-products in North America, Asia and Africa.  He is the Principal Investigator of the VHEMBE Study, which investigates the health effects of exposure to public health insecticides used for malaria control in Africa.  He also applies and adapts causal methods to address methodological issues such as the healthy worker survivor effect (HWSE). More information on Dr. Chevrier’s work may be found at:

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