Killing Bugs by painting your house!

A spanish Company fights malaria with pesticides in house paint. The primary problem for half the planet is that their homes are sick.

For decades, nets and sprays have been the only effective methods for controlling the mosquitoes thatt cause malaria and dengue. Pilar Mateo thinks she can do better. The spanish chemist has invented a way to embed pesticides in microcapsules stirred into house paints at her valencia company, Inesfly. The insecticides are released from the paint slowly, remaining effective for two to four years, while sprays typically need to be reapplied at least every six months. “The paint acts like a vaccine for houses and buildings,” she says.

Mateo says she’s received offers to buy her patent but refuses to sell out. Instead, her new venture, Inesfly Africa, will produce it commercially at a $13 Million dollar factory in Ghana. After years of donating paint to poor people in Latin America and Africa, Mateo wants the venture to fundher broader humanitarian efforts. “It’s not just the insects that are problem,” she says. “It’s the poverty.”

The minute amounts of pesticides released from the paint aren’t harmful to people but are devastating to insects, according to independent tests by scientists. The paint already approved for use in 15 countries, including China, Germany, and Spain. Mateo is seeking approval in the U.S. and a recommendation from the World Health Organization. Her idea is to sell it as an affordable alternative to sprays. “It makes sense,” says Adriana Costero Saint Denis, a program officer at the National Institues of Health. “You want something that has slow release, which is effective for a long period.”

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek May21-May27 2012

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