DDT chronicles: 300+ reasons to ban DDT

“100 things you should know about DDT?”  Oh, hell. That’s nothing.

Here’s a list of 300+ things you should know about DDT that Steven Milloy and the “Competitive Enterprise” Institute want to hide from you. Rather than bullet points, these are the actual articles from this blog and from original sources, featuring links to even more information.

These are the facts, the history, science and law that demonstrate Rachel Carson was correct in Silent Spring; that DDT was never banned from fighting malaria (though it was banned from crop use in the U.S.). These are the facts, that despite difficulties caused by DDT’s failure as a miracle pesticide against malaria-carrying mosquitoes, malaria infections and deaths dropped and plunged continuously, from 1972 and the U.S. ban on DDT on crops, to today.

At peak DDT use, roughly from 1958 to 1963, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated malaria deaths world wide at 5 million per year, declining to about 4 million per year by 1963. 500 million people were infected with malaria every year — a half billion, or 17% of the entire world population at that time.  WHO conducted an ambitious malaria-eradication campaign starting in 1955.  It was based on the ability to temporarily knock down mosquito populations, with DDT sprayed on the walls of homes of people in malaria-endemic areas.  But in 1963, when the campaign moved to central Africa, WHO workers discovered mosquitoes there had developed resistance and immunity to DDT due to use in agriculture and pest control.  Without a pesticide to give a recess from infection spread, WHO had to end the program.  Workers had stopped nation-wide campaigns by 1965, and WHO’s World Health Assembly officially abandoned the campaign in 1969.

Despite that campaign’s end, malaria continued to decline.  By 1972, when the U.S. banned DDT on crops and sent all DDT produced to fight vector-borne diseases, the death toll dropped to just over 3 million per year. By 1985, just over 1.5 million deaths were counted annually.  But then malaria parasites themselves — tiny animals — developed resistance to the pharmaceuticals used to cure the disease in humans. For the next decade, malaria infections rose modestly in some places.

New pharmaceutical regimens, and renewed vigor in prevention campaigns, kicked in about 1999. Since then malaria deaths have fallen, from over a million per year to fewer than 500,000 per year.  Total infections dropped to 212 million per year — a 60% reduction since WHO ended the eradication campaign.

Promising and encouraging progress against malaria spurs talk once again of eradication of the disease.  But there is still much work to do, and very thorny problems to solve — like drug-resistant malaria, and pesticide resistant mosquitoes.

*     *     *     *     *

Please,  Dear Reader, Dear Researcher, Dear Policy Maker, check out the several outstanding resources from other publications that I have listed at the bottom of this list, below the “Gordo” cartoon.  Those sources boil down much of the best information here, and they write it better than I do.

300+ essays and articles at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub relating to DDT, in reverse chronological order (note this list may not be complete; for more articles, use the “search” feature and look for DDT and/or malaria in posts on this blog):

A Gordo Sunday cartoon marking the passing of ...

A “Gordo” Sunday cartoon marking the passing of Rachel Carson in 1964; by cartoonist Gus Arriola, copyright by Arriola (Fair Use) (Image via Wikipedia)

Very important articles at other sites and other sources:

Official, original documents:

Indexing:  Rachel Was Right, #DDT, #Malaria, #RachelCarson, Junk Science, World Health Organization, WHO, Environmentalism

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20 Responses to DDT chronicles: 300+ reasons to ban DDT

  1. […] From the promising start of claiming we must be skeptical and carefully sort out what is true from what is not true, he rapidly plunges from the stratosphere into the depths of the ocean of misinformation.  Count the errors: […]

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  9. Ed Darrell says:

    No, this isn’t Dr. Lynn Koslowski’s piece in HuffPo — but there’s probably better science information here (though, not so much against smoking).

    Don’t tell ’em about the mislink. I can use the the traffic. Their anti-DDT rants can use the exposing.

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  10. […] of why e-cigarettes should be allowed, indeed encouraged, for addicted smokers, see renowned expert Prof. Lynn Kozlowski’s piece in this week’s Huffington Post, 9 Things to Think About When Thinking About […]

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  13. […] DDT chronicles at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub – 200+ reasons to ban DDT […]

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  17. […] DDT chronicles at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub – 145 reasons to ban DDT […]

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  18. […] DDT chronicles at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub – 145 reasons to ban DDT […]

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  19. […] DDT chronicles at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub – 145 reasons to ban DDT […]

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  20. […] DDT chronicles at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub […]

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