DDT: One of the 50 worst inventions


Time Magazine recently proposed a list of the “50 worst inventions.”

Wouldn’t you know it?  The piece was published on May 27, the anniversary of Rachel Carson’s birth (just to give fuel to the fire of the conspiratorialists), and DDT was listed as one of the 50 worst inventions.

After the war, use exploded: from 1942 to 1972, some 1.35 billion lb. of DDT were used in the U.S.

But absent from the DDT mania was consideration of the environmental effects of dumping millions of pounds of potent pesticides each year. Rachel Carson’s seminal 1962 environmental tract Silent Spring was the first to call attention to the nasty little fact that DDT produced fertility and neurological problems in humans and accumulated up the food chain in wildlife, poisoning birds. Use of the compound plummeted, and in 1972, DDT was banned in the U.S. entirely.

The list is more humorous than accurate, but it’s nice to see a journal that doesn’t suffer from DDT poisoning to make it claim, against the facts, that DDT is a miracle chemical with no harms.
Other inventions among the 50 worst, according to Time:
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3 Responses to DDT: One of the 50 worst inventions

  1. lunaculun says:

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  2. [...] Milloy complains about Time Magazine’s “50 Worst Inventions” list, including, especially the listing of DDT, as discussed earlier.  It’s wrong, and silly.  Good fact checkers, and good editors, wouldn’t let such [...]

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  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by texasBNN and TWT INVENTIONS, TWEET INVENTIONS. TWEET INVENTIONS said: DDT: One of the 50 worst inventions « Millard Fillmore's Bathtub: This entry was posted on Sunday, May 30th, 2010 … http://bit.ly/a0GeTW [...]

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Play nice in the Bathtub -- splash no soap in anyone's eyes.

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