DDT a problem of 30-50 years ago?

Paul Cherubini cherubini at mindspring.com
Tue Aug 8 22:16:15 EDT 2000

Jeffrey Caldwell wrote:

> Paul, it is true that many people are dying of malaria.  A major reason
> is not the lack of  DDT, or bans of DDT, but rather that a world war is
> raging in the portion of Africa hardest hit by malaria; wars, rebellions and
> unrest affect much of the tropical third world nations everywhere. 

> What is needed is not necessarily DDT, but peace and justice and sound
> governments.  Also, as noted before, malaria control doesn't have to be
> only by using DDT.

According to the Science News Online website

"Throughout the tropical Americas, malaria is undergoing a massive resurgence."

So we are not just talking about a malaria problem in Africa that has been
aggravated by the bans on the use DDT.

With regard to Africa, the Science News Online website article states:

"Some wealthier nations have demanded that poorer countries ban DDT as a
condition for receiving foreign aid. According to environmental economist Richard
Tren, the situation has precipitated a standoff that threatens to hold hostage the
expansion of Mozambique's single largest industrial project." 
"Local antimalaria programs have been barred from using
DDT by European aid donors and, in turn, the Mozambique government."

Jeffrey, I agree with you that "wars, rebellions and
unrest affect much of the tropical third world nations everywhere" and this
contributes to malarial deaths. But "wars, rebellions and unrest" have been the norm
in the third world for many decades. We know what happens when DDT is

For example according to the American Council on Science and Health publication 
"Facts Versus Fears" - Edition 3, June 1998.

"In Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) DDT spraying had reduced malaria
cases from 2.8 million in 1948 to 17 in 1963. After spraying was stopped in 1964, 
malaria cases began to rise again and reached 2.5 million in 1969. The same pattern
 was repeated in many other tropical‹ and usually impoverished‹regions of the world."

" In Zanzibar the prevalence  of malaria among the populace dropped from 70
percent in 1958 to 5 percent in 1964. By 1984 it was back up to between 50 and 60
percent. The chief malaria expert for the U.S. Agency for International Development 
said that malaria would have been 98 percent eradicated had DDT continued to be used."
Thus, I feel the track record of DDT's effectiveness is clear and 
it pretty much supports Bruce Walsh's statement:

"its [DDT] lack of useage kills millions of third world peoples each year"

Paul Cherubini

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