DDT no solution to malaria

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Syndicated columnist Walter Williams (“We are the idiots: Dire environmental predictions falling flat,” May 23) falsely claims that environmentalists’ urging of restrictions on the pesticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) is responsible for the death of tens of millions from malaria. He then uses this claim and others to attack environmental regulation and environmentalists’ warnings of future harms.

The 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants regulating DDT specifically allows its use in indoor residual spraying (IRS) for control of vectors of malaria and visceral leishmaniasis. Spraying the pesticide on the inside walls of dwellings repels mosquitoes that transmits the malaria parasite. Unfortunately, this also poisons the residents and the workers applying the pesticide.

While the health effects of malaria are more severe than those of DDT, the existence of other alternatives to reduce malaria’s morbidity and mortality, such as bed nets and nonchemical environmental management, led a panel of scientists from the United States and South Africa in 2009 to recommend that DDT “should only be used as a last resort in combating malaria.”

Most importantly, mosquitoes acquire resistance to DDT even when used properly in IRS. There is evidence that mosquitoes also acquire resistance to DDT from synthetic pyrethroids, a group of chemicals similar to DDT used in agricultural pesticides. So to treat DDT as a simple solution to malaria is simply wrong.

Rachel Carson’s struggle to bring to the public’s attention the dangers of unrestricted pesticide use made her an American hero and a worldwide icon.

Mr. Williams’ uninformed attack supports a regression to the days when people and corporations produced and consumed without knowledge of and consideration for the harms they inflicted on themselves, others and the other creatures with whom we share this planet.

Ayman Fadel

Augusta

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afadel
1049
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afadel 05/31/13 - 07:00 am
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4
Darby
56453
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Darby 05/31/13 - 10:36 am
5
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The benefits of DDT far

outweigh it's detriments.

Anything you hear to the contrary is simple left wing "greenie" propaganda.

Cut and paste "evidence" to the contrary.

Fiat_Lux
23709
Points
Fiat_Lux 05/31/13 - 01:12 pm
0
0
And yet, Congress protects the use of neonicotinoids

that very probably are a large part of killing off the worldwide population of bees.

We will survive about three years after the last bee dies.

RMSHEFF
36836
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RMSHEFF 05/31/13 - 03:21 pm
3
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The writer would rather have

The writer would rather have 1000 children die of malaria than 1 person die from DDT. Liberal logic I suppose but than again most liberals are pro abortion also.

faithson
7852
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faithson 05/31/13 - 05:13 pm
0
3
cut off your nose to spite your face....

We here in America are still living with the consequences of DDT use. Gotta love those who deam all this 'green' conciousness as a one sided arguement. only shows the narrowmindedness of so many who listen to the pundunts to 'stay on top of things'...

RMSHEFF
36836
Points
RMSHEFF 05/31/13 - 05:45 pm
3
0
To only a few chemicals does

To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT. In little more than two decades DDT has prevented 500 million human deaths due to malaria that would otherwise have been inevitable.”
– National Academy of Sciences, 1970

bigj706
2275
Points
bigj706 05/31/13 - 09:56 pm
0
0
Jake the Snake would be

Jake the Snake would be ashame

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