The Wall Street Journal Endorses Use of DDT
The Wall Street Journal endorses using DDT on its Editorial Opinion page (8/16/07) stating: "Opponents of DDT are only ensuring more misery and death." Great. We have been stating this for years. It is good to know that this respected publication has finally come around to agreeing with us.
Use It To Stop Malaria Deaths in Africa
The African American Environmentalist Association believes that DDT (Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) insecticide should be used to prevent deaths from malaria in African countries. DDT is an organochlorine pesticide that has been used as an insecticide in agriculture and to combat insect vectors of diseases such as malaria and typhus. Because of its effectiveness at killing insects with few acute effects on humans, DDT had been a mainstay to fight malaria, a parasitic disease that is a growing health threat in Africa and other parts of the world. It is helping to lower the number of malaria deaths in Africa. DDT should also be used in India, Brazil and Mexico, where 69% of all reported cases of malaria occur (Mosq Control Assoc, 1998). Malaria afflicts hundreds of millions of people and causes millions of human deaths each year. Swiss scientist Paul Muller was awarded the 1948 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering (1939) DDT's insecticidal properties.
Mosquitoes are killed as a result of DDT. Malaria is transmitted to humans via mosquito bites. According to U.N. estimates, malaria kills one child every 30 seconds and more than a million people each year.
DDT and malaria are a serious concern in places where malaria is prevalent. Malaria is a serious, sometimes fatal, disease caused by a parasite. Humans get malaria from the bite of a malaria-infected mosquito. When a mosquito bites an infected person, it ingests microscopic malaria parasites found in the person's blood. The malaria parasite must grow in the mosquito for a week or more before infection can be passed to another person. If, after a week, the mosquito then bites another person, the parasites go from the mosquito's mouth into the person's blood. The parasites then travel to the person's liver, enter the liver's cells, grow and multiply. During this time when the parasites are in the liver, the person has not yet felt sick. The parasites leave the liver and enter red blood cells; this may take as little as 8 days or as many as several months. Once inside the red blood cells, the parasites grow and multiply. The red blood cells burst, freeing the parasites to attack other red blood cells. Toxins from the parasite are also released into the blood, making the person feel sick. (CDC)
Symptoms of malaria include fever and flu-like illness, including chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may also occur. Malaria cases in Africa and other parts of the world may cause anemia and jaundice (yellow coloring of the skin and eyes) because of the loss of red blood cells. Infection may cause kidney failure, seizures, mental confusion, coma and death. For most people, symptoms begin 10 days to 4 weeks after infection, although a person may feel ill as early as 8 days or up to 1 year later. Some malaria parasites can rest in the liver for several months up to 4 years after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. When these parasites come out of hibernation and begin invading red blood cells, the person will become sick. Malaria is diagnosed by looking for the parasites in a drop of blood under a microscope. Malaria can be cured with prescription drugs. (CDC)
Rachel Carson initiated the movement against the use of DDT in her 1962 book Silent Spring. Of course, by then, DDT had largely eliminated malaria in the United States. One of the believed effects of DDT is softening the shells of raptors and other egg laying species. It is thought that the birds are compromised by eating DDT poisoned insects. A ban on DDT, combined with passage of the Endangered Species Act, is thought to have restored raptor populations, particularly eagles. Some researchers dispute this contention. Regardless, DDT was banned in 1972 by the Environmental Protection Agency under Administrator William (Bill) Ruckelshaus. It is still used in some countries. Traditional environmental groups are calling for a global ban on (DDT) production and use. Although 120 countries adopted a treaty to phase out persistent organic pollutants (POPs) (includes DDT) in 2000, the treaty (United Nations' Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants) allows for limited use for control of malaria. About 25 countries including South Africa still use DDT. Malaria is a continued concern in these areas. The Malaria Foundation International seems to have some good ideas about (DDT.) They participated in a campaign to prevent a ban on DDT for malaria control.
AAEA believes that DDT should be used in African countries as it was in the United States for decades until malaria is eradicated, because malaria deaths in Africa are still a strong concern. Then, use should be limited. Although other groups charge that DDE (from breakdown of DDT) is found in mothers milk, such effects are not comparable to the deadly effects of malaria. Experts must find a way to eliminate malaria. DDT is the best way to eliminate the parasite. Kill the insect. Stop the parasite carried by the insect. Then reduce or eliminate use of DDT. During the approximately 30 years that DDT was used in the U.S., almost 700,000 tons were sprayed onto cotton and other crops. The peak year was 1958, when nearly 80 million pounds of DDT was sprayed onto American farmlands.
DDT is a pesticide used to control insects that carry diseases such as malaria. DDT is a white, crystalline solid with no odor or taste. Numerous studies indicate that DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to humans. However, EPA lists DDT as a 'probable human carcinogen.' The effects of DDT on the nervous system only occur if swallowed in large amounts. Studies conclude that there are no serious effects in people under normal use. According to ATSDR, there are no studies on the health effects of children exposed to DDT. There is no evidence that the pesticide causes birth defects in people.
The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) held a conference in New York in January 2004 to address this issue, among others. The conference, titled, 'Eco-Imperialism: The Global Green Movement's War On The Developing World's Poor.' CORE supports the use of DDT in African countries to lower the number of malaria cases in Africa. CORE spokesmen Cyril Boynes and Niger Innis described how the traditional environmental movement is imposing the views of mostly wealthy, Americans and Europeans on mostly poor Africans. Paul Driessen, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death, described how traditional environmental groups are "preventing needy nations from using the very technologies that developed countries employed to become rich, comfortable and free of disease." Patrick Moore, founder of Greenpeace and Greenspirit also supports these views. Conference moderator Deroy Murdock eloquently described how traditional environmental groups perpetuate poverty and misery in developing countries through 'eco-centric' policies. Fiona "Fifi" Kobusingye from Kampala, Uganda described her personal battles with malaria and the suffering and deaths it has caused in her extended family. Roy Innis also attended the conference.
Paul Driessen makes a good case for using DDT in his book:
Recent study results sent to AAEA showing prenatal exposure to DDT causes neurodevelopmental delays.
Our response is that malaria is much more dangerous to African children thatn any possible developmental delays due to overexposure.