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Biocides turn out to be less toxic for the environment if they are subjected to microencapsulation, due to the fact that this process forms shell(s) for the substance. This is the conclusion of chemist Ms Mariluz Alonso in a thesis defended at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). In this research, she chose a number of biocides and other complementary substances, seeking a micro-encapsulation which, besides being compatible with the environment, is more soluble in water, more manageable for the operator, with better conditions of conservation, and effective against airborne insects. Her thesis is entitled Micro-encapsulation of biocides, and has given rise to publications in journals such as the International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry (the article is entitled Advantages of biocides-β-cyclodextrin inclusion complexes against active components).
The aim of the researcher was to obtain a product that overcame the limits of common biocides. These limits correspond to a toxicological profile that restricts their use, poor solubility in water, high viscosity (in some cases) that complicates their handling, and high sensitivity (in most cases) to light and temperature. The product not only complies with these parameters, but has also shown that it is effective against the domestic fly, in tests undertaken in the laboratory.
Cyclodextrine as encapsulating agent
In order to form this product Ms Alonso chose the carbamate insecticides (concretely, bendiocarb) - nicotinoids and pyrethroids. Carbamates are less damaging for the environment than others, more biodegradable and less toxic for humans. Their great disadvantage is that insects can become resistant to them. Nicotinoid and pyrethroid insecticides, on the other hand, do not
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