Can DDT fight the bedbug problem? Maybe. But the banned insecticide could do a lot more than that IF science held sway rather than mythology and superstition.
In a recent article from Africa Fighting Malaria, author Jasson Urbach addresses the harmful effects of banning a class of insecticides: neonicotinoids. Urbach compares the unfounded fears of neonics with those of DDT, giving a brief history of the negative effects that bans on DDT have had on public health. For example, when South Africa
The latest ACSH health headlines: The HPV vaccines works! And the U.S. has some catching up to do. What's bugging New Yorkers? Bed bugs of course, and ACSH's Dr. Josh Bloom's take on the matter appears in the Wall Street Journal. And yet another study showing the dangers of using herbal and dietary supplements- this time, liver damage.
ACSH's Dr. Josh Bloom quoted in The Wall Street Journal, September 4, 2014.
If there is a more obvious case of bad science, and its impact on human health, we d like to see it. Because it turns out that DDT, the evil chemical blamed by Rachel Carson in her 1962 book Silent Spring for thinning of bird eggs, does no such thing. And the consequences of this error are tragic one million deaths per year, mostly in Africa. This abomination was not helped by the publication of a 2013 paper by Hindrik Bouwman and colleagues in which they once again claimed that DDT causes thinning egg shells.
In their recent op-ed DDT Causes Reduced Cognitive Ability In Journalists, Dr. Donald R. Roberts, professor emeritus of
So now they re trying to pin the blame for Alzheimer s disease on DDT! Really? This is an excellent example of the wrong way to do a scientific study. It doesn t even pass the smell test.
Over the 51 years since Rachel Carson s poetic attack on DDT in her Silent Spring novel, the chemical pesticide became the poster child for the nascent environmental movement s inchoate wrath. The victims:
While malaria deaths are in decline in sub-Saharan Africa, the problem remains huge,with 600,000 deaths, mainly toddlers. Fake and sub-standard drugs contribute to resistance, and diversion or theft is another problem making controlling the disease more difficult. Now the USAID is on the case.
Inspired by Rachel Carson s anti-science book Silent Spring, the ban on the chemical DDT has cost countless lives through an upsurge in malaria. (DDT is used to control mosquito populations, which spread the disease). Now it seems the United Nations Environmental Programme is violating the Stockholm Convention by pressuring the seven remaining countries still actively spraying to stop using the cheap and effective chemical, as well as pressuring India to stop making it.
As the global health community works to increase access to malaria treatment and prevention measures, two significant obstacles are becoming increasingly serious. Counterfeit and poorly manufactureddrugs, along with higher levels of insecticide resistance among malaria-carrying mosquitoes, are hindering the public health community s efforts to tackle malaria, which kills somewhere between 650,000 and 1.2 million people annually especially young children and infants in sub-Saharan Africa.
Today marks the fifth anniversary of World Malaria Day an initiative started by the World Health Organization (WHO) to call attention to a global goal of ending malaria deaths by 2015. Nearly half of the world s population is at risk of contracting malaria, a parasitic disease transmitted by certain mosquitoes. Malaria affects between 200 and 300 million people worldwide, and is characterized by recurrent high fevers, flu-like symptoms, weakness, diarrhea, dehydration and especially among the very young death. Most cases and fatalities occur in sub-Saharan Africa among children age five and under.