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Activated carbon and pesticidesFeatured science projectScience project video

Conclusion

Our hypothesis has been proven correct. A higher concentration of activated carbon will  neutralize the pesticide malathion and  flies will be able to survive, even though they are exposed to the pesticide.

Activated carbon is very useful for cleaning up pesticide spills and to mop up excess pesticides on agricultural farms. Once the pesticide has been absorbed by the activated carbon, it effectively becomes harmless.

Also consider

The  results of our science project experiment would perhaps be more reliable/meaningful, if we were to use a larger number of flies or a larger number of pesticide concentrations. Try repeating the experiment using different types of insects like mosquitoes or cockroaches.

Also try repeating the science experiment by comparing the effectiveness of activated carbon in neutralizing other types of pesticides.

References

Malathion - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malathion

Activated carbon - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Activated_carbon

Using activated charcoal to inactivate agricultural chemical spills - http://www.bae.ncsu.edu/programs/extension/publicat/wqwm/ag442.html

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Complexity level:
8
Project cost ($):
40
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 1 hour for the science project experiment
Material availability:
You will need to trap 40 houseflies for this experiment.
Safety concerns:

Ensure that safety masks, goggles and gloves are worn at all times when handling the Malathion and the flies. Malathion is extremely toxic and should be handled properly, in a controlled laboratory under the supervision of your science teacher.