There’s Chemistry in the Air. Eco-sustainable solutions.
With the idea of properly managing emission of pollutants at the sites at which research and production of active principles is carried on (for instance, the Italian centre in Pisa), we have installed technologically-advanced abatement systems that are equipped to not pollute and in accordance with European guidelines.
To further guarantee our eco-sustainability, at the same plant we have chosen not to use insecticides for mosquito control in the rainwater runoff channels.
For controlling the mosquito population we instead use a little fish. Gambusia affinis feeds on mosquito larvae and represents a natural and highly-effective method controlling this pest: it was used in the Maremma region in the 1800s to combat the malaria-carrying mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles.
Gambusia affinis is a highly-resistant fish which has adapted to living in oxygen-poor waters with high salinity (up to two times saltier than sea water) and at high temperatures: it can even survive – albeit for short periods – in water at a temperature of 42 °C.
This species has been described as the world’s most widespread freshwater fish; it has been introduced to biologically combat mosquitoes in many habitats around the globe.
The Pisa site introduced Gambusia affinis to control the spread of mosquitoes in 2006. Three hundred fish were purchased; 200 were placed in the channels which collect unpolluted runoff from the plaza areas (water successive to the runoff from the first rain); the other 100 were placed in tanks to create a nursery for breeding the fish at the plant. The benefits of this system are evident today.
In the areas in question, the mosquito population has dropped significantly and this technique was immediately recognised as being more efficacious than insecticides, in terms both of numbers of pests eliminated and of abatement timespans.