Instead of a vitamin a day, Pest Control Executive Robert Loibl and his wife Louise start breakfast with a 10-mg. capsule of DDT. After 93 days on DDT, the North Hollywood, Calif., couple figured they had ingested as much of the pesticide (some 300 times more than the average daily intake) as persons consuming food dusted with the chemical would get in 83 years. “We feel better than we used to,” crows Loibl. “In fact, I think my appetite has increased since I began taking DDT.”
The Loibls’ experiment is designed to prove that DDT, which they claim is the most maligned of pesticides, is “harmless.” They believe that the environment is better served with spraying. On the surface, their consumption of DDT appears to have caused them no harm. Blood tests and urinalysis conducted by Government physicians, says Loibl, “showed nothing out of the ordinary.” But while the Loibls seem safe enough now, they could become ill in the future. More important, even if DDT is not immediately harmful to man, it is destructive to many beneficial insects and to some fish and birds.
Whatever happened to these people? My internet searches have not turned up any significant further information on either of the Loibls. Does anyone know?
I believe they lived in or near San Diego, perhaps in retirement, and I believe he owned or operated a pest control company there as well as farther north. Can anyone tell us what happened to the intrepid DDT eaters, the Loibls?
(This is an uncontrolled experiment, and probably dangerous. Kids, do not try this at home.)
What do you think? Was this a good idea? Does anyone know what happened to them?
- Most people tend to forget DDT was NOT banned due to human health effects, but was instead banned because, under the 1958 amendments to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), it was found to be an uncontrollable poison, which was (is) banned under the law. Since the 1970s, however, human health effects of DDT became much better known. Perhaps the best survey was composed at the Alma Conference at Alma College, Michigan, in 2009. Known as the Pine River Statement, it was submitted for peer review and published in Environmental Health Perspectives, “
The Pine River Statement: Human Health Consequences of DDT Use”
- “Scary science that humans have foolishly embraced,” at Neatorama
- “These people took DDT pills in the 1970s to prove it was safe,” Matt Novak at Paleofuture/Gizmodo