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Risk Assessment

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Risk Assessment 2

Chattanooga Tennessee is an American city that sits on the banks of the Tennessee

river. The population of Chattanooga Tennessee is 155,500. Chattanooga has factories, and

nuclear power that sit next to the Tennessee river. Along the banks of the Tennessee river

there are several wetland areas that help protect the city from possible flooding. The

wetlands also provide many species of birds and fish with important nutrient food sources.

Even with all the beauty the wetlands provide for people, the wetlands also are a place

were Mosquito’s breed and the waste from for the industry in the area collect. This makes

the environment unhealthy for humans and wildlife because of the mosquito’s possibly

being infected with the West Nile Virus as well as the high iodine levels found in the fish.

Now the West Nile Virus which is mainly found in mosquito’s effects the nervous

system. According to data collected from the center of disease control in 2007 there were

3623 cases in which people were infected with the virus and 124 of those cases resulted in

death. ( April 1, 2008) Chattanooga has not had any reports of humans that have

been infected with the West Nile Virus, but there have been reported cases of dead birds

found in the area that were infected with West Nile Virus. ( April

30, 2007). Another problem for the Chattanooga Tennessee area is the pollution problems

that is facing the Tennessee River and many small creeks that branch off of the Tennessee

River. The Chattanooga government has brought a solution for the clean up efforts for ten

years now. With the polluted wetlands, the Tennessee River and the creeks that join the

Tennessee River the only solution was to clean up the polluted creeks and wetlands by

Risk Assessment 3

fining the factories and nuclear power plants if they did not stop the pollution with the

waste that comes from the factories. The solution worked as planned. Since the year 2003

two major factories have gone out of business and as a result of the factory closings the

pollution in the river and creeks has steadily improved. The mosquito breeding in the

wetlands and nearby creeks still present a risk to the wildlife and humans that live nearby.

The plan that local environmentalist have in place for the wetlands that surround the

Chattanooga Tennessee area is to spray the wetlands with a pesticide that would kill the

Mosquito’s and their larva to prevent the spread of the West Nile Virus. The proponents of

the plan mentioned above presented data from the local Chattanooga city government that

indicate a long term environmental risk from the Malathion (pesticide) application that

would be detrimental to the wetlands and creeks in the Chattanooga Tennessee area.

Chattanooga city government officials argue that exposure to Malathion or pesticide

applications could be controlled by educational programs and precautions for local area


The proposal would include extensive precautions and an awareness campaign that

would cover the information needed for the citizens about how they could avoid exposure

during Malathion or pesticide applications for weeks after the applications. Studies

contend that avoiding exposure to the mosquito population that could cause West Nile

Virus would not be as easy as avoiding Malathion applications that can be controlled.

Tourism has increased in the city of Chattanooga, and ever since data has labeled

Chattanooga as a city that has reported cases of West Nile Virus tourist have stayed

Risk Assessment 4

away until the Malathion or pesticide applications started. As a result of reduced tourism




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