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DDT Should it be used?

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How can you get this popular press hysteria and downright lies


Rachel Carson kicked off DDT hysteria with her pseudoscientific 1962 book, "Silent Spring." Miss Carson materially misrepresented DDT science in order to advance her anti-pesticide agenda. Today she is hailed as having launched the global environmental movement. A Pennsylvania state office building, Maryland elementary school, Pittsburgh bridge and a Maryland state park are named for her. The Smithsonian Institution commemorates her work against DDT. She was even honored with a 1981 U.S. postage stamp. Next year will be the 100th anniversary of her birth. Many celebrations are planned.

It's quite a tribute for someone who was so dead wrong. At the very least, her name should be removed from public property and there should be no government-sponsored honors of Miss Carson.

The Audubon Society was a leader in the attack on DDT, including falsely accusing DDT defenders (who won a libel suit) of lying. Not wanting to jeopardize its nonprofit tax status, the Audubon Society formed the Environmental Defense Fund (now simply known as Environmental Defense) in 1967 to spearhead its anti-DDT efforts. Today the National Audubon Society takes in more than $100 million yearly and has assets worth more than $200 million. Environmental Defense takes in more than $65 million yearly with a net worth exceeding $73 million.

In a February 25, 1971, media release, the president of the Sierra Club said his organization wanted "a ban, not just a curb" on DDT, "even in the tropical countries where DDT has kept malaria under control. Today the Sierra Club rakes in more than $90 million per year and has more than $50 million in assets.

Business are often held liable and forced to pay monetary damages for defective products and false statements. Why shouldn't the National Audubon Society, Environmental Defense, Sierra Club and other anti-DDT activist groups be held liable for the harm caused by their recklessly defective activism?

next to this in the scientific press?



Recent studies have shown that pesticides are a significant form of waste product pollutant.

The most commonly known pesticide, DDT, was introduced to world agriculture after World War II. DDT proved to be extremely effective in controlling insects and was widely used.

It's estimated that over ten million tons of DDT were used in a thirty year span. Chemist George R.Harvey (1974) reported by the 1960's it was becoming apparent that the deleterious effects of this chemical lasted far longer than it took to kill the offending insects.

DDT began to show up in measurable quantities in both marine wildlife and the sea. The Gulf Breeze Laboratory of the EPA (1970) established that the life of DDT in natural sea water is about ten days. (p.18).

Finally, in 1972 the Federal Government virtually banned the use of DDT. Unfortunately, the use of DDT lives on in other parts of the world. Researchers have since found 3.6 million tons of DDT actively contaminating the earth and ocean.

In 1990 The International Decade of Ocean Exploration (IDOE) office of the National Science Foundation predicted they would find four times the legal(international law) amount of DDT and PCB in the open ocean. Instead, they found ten times that amount.


The surface microlayer of the ocean is always subject to direct assault by atmospheric pollution. Chlorinated hydrocarbons such as DDT and PCB have been polluting the surface of the sea at enormous rates for the last thirty-five years. Once the hydrocarbons move into organisms the toxicity produces effects down to microcellular levels. This is done by cytotoxins which disrupts cell division thereby producing lethal chromosomes. This process impedes the normal replication of DNA. Edward D. Goldberg, (1974) Professor of Chemistry at University of California, San Diego reported that one dramatic example of the harm done by DDT occurred on Anacapa Island of the coast of California. Researchers began detecting DDT pollution in sediments as early as 1952. During the years 1969 1972, the island's once populous Brown Pelican colony failed to reproduce. Although it still remains a threat to the marine environment, DDT is no longer found in large quantities. The same can not be said for PCB's.

Sea Turtles/Homepage


Does anyone care?


Is this why we don't want a ban on Chlorinated hydrocabons?




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This is ironic

India is a major manufacturer of DDT

`DDT failed to check malaria in India'


Special Correspondent


Toxics Link shocked over WHO's clean chit to DDT


# `Overriding chemical dependency, without managing how DDT is currently used, is the reason we have more malaria'

# The global toxics treaty, adopted by 129 countries, calls for a phase out of DDT


NEW DELHI: Joining growing international criticism of the clean chit given by the World Health Organisation to Dichlorodiphenyl Trichloroethane (DDT), Toxics Link on Tuesday expressed regret over this turnaround by the world health body. It said the pesticide had failed as an effective anti-malaria strategy in India besides creating chemical dependency and causing adverse health and environmental impact.


Ravi Agarwal, Director, Toxics Link, said: ``Overriding chemical dependency, without managing how DDT is currently used, is the reason we have more malaria. Lack of DDT quality control leading to resistance, unsafe spraying practices, lack of storage, leakage to agriculture, and poor disposal of waste are major unaddressed issues. Besides, any new assessment needs to be made public before WHO pushes DDT at this time, when there is already a persistent organic pollutants (POPs) global agreement to phase it out."

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The environmental crusade against DDT began with Rachel Carson’s antipesticide diatribe Silent Spring, published in 1962 at the height of the worldwide antimalaria campaign. The widespread spraying of DDT had caused a spectacular drop in malaria incidence—Sri Lanka, for example, reported 2.8 million malaria victims in 1948, but by 1963 it had only 17. Yet, Carson’s book made no mention of this. It said nothing of DDT’s crucial role in eradicating malaria in industrialized countries, or of the tens of millions of lives saved by its use.


Instead, Carson filled her book with misinformation—alleging, among other claims, that DDT causes cancer. Her unsubstantiated assertion that continued DDT use would unleash a cancer epidemic generated a panicked fear of the pesticide that endures as public opinion to this day. (Editor’s note: Several recent studies indicate that there is a link between DDT exposure and breast cancer rates.)


But the scientific case against DDT was, and still is, nonexistent. Almost 60 years have passed since the malaria-spraying campaigns began—with hundreds of millions of people exposed to large concentrations of DDT—yet, according to international health scholar Amir Attaran, the scientific literature “has not even one peer reviewed, independently replicated study linking exposure to DDT with any adverse health outcome.” Indeed, in a 1956 study, human volunteers ate DDT every day for more than two years with no ill effects then or since.


Was Carson wrong?



If you

look at a list of the top 200 chemicals found at hazardous waste

sites, you quickly see that these dozen are representative: a few

metals, and many chlorinated compounds made from petroleum.

Petroleum products and chlorine can be combined in a host of

interesting ways to make "chlorinated hydrocarbons," which do not

ordinarily occur in nature, which tend to be toxic, which tend to

persist in the environment once they are created, and which enter

food chains and concentrate as they move from small plants to

small animals and then into bigger animals. In general, the bigger

the animal (fish, bird, or mammal), the more chlorinated

hydrocarbons can be found in its flesh.

It seems natural, therefore, to ask ourselves what is known about

health effects from exposure to hydrocarbons (petroleum products)

and especially to chlorinated hydrocarbons.

A study[2] of 8418 white male workers in rubber factories in Akron,

Ohio, revealed an excess of deaths from cancers of the stomach, the

respiratory system, the lymph system (lymphosarcomas), and

leukemias (cancer of the blood-forming cells). In addition, the

researchers found excess deaths from diabetes (a disorder of the

immune system), cerebrovascular disease (stroke), arteriosclerosis

(hardening of the arteries), and suicide.

A study[3] of 1015 male workers at a Canadian oil refinery revealed

an excess of cancers of the brain, bone, skin, kidneys, lymph

system, and blood-forming cells (leukemia), as well as fatal

diseases, including cancer, of the digestive tract.

A study[4] of 2509 active and retired workers at three oil refineries

in Beaumont/Port Arthur, Texas, revealed an excess of brain cancer,

stomach cancer, leukemia, multiple myeloma (cancer of the bone

marrow) and lymphomas.

A study[5] of 1099 white males exposed to tetrachloroethane in the

manufacture of clothing to protect soldiers against mustard gas in

World War II revealed an overall cancer rate 26% higher than

among the general populace of white males of the same ages.

A study[6] of British pathologists revealed an excess of deaths by

suicide, and brain cancers which the authors of the study attributed

to exposure to solvents, or possibly to an infectious agent.

A study[7] of 501 North Carolina men who died of non-Hodgkin's

lymphoma showed an increased risk associated with occupation in

the rubber, plastics and synthetic chemicals industries.

A study[8] of 184,641 people listed in the New Jersey cancer

registry between 1979 and 1984 found several associations between

specific cancers and specific occupations. For example, in the

printing industry where people are exposed to ink (carbon black and

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Exports risk EU ban over DDT, says envoy

Thursday, 28th September, 2006


By Stephen Ilungole

in Brussels


THE European Union (EU) will ban exports from Uganda if the proposed use of DDT as a malaria preventive measure goes ahead, Uganda�s envoy to Belgium has said.


Katenta Apuuli said in an interview that taking the World Health Organisaition�s HO) directive at face value could cause an economic set-back.

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The hope


BLANCH : Maryanne Demasi, talking to Brisbane scientist, Professor Michael Good, from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, where they've developed a malaria vaccine which is safe, effective and financially viable.


They expect to begin human trials within the year.

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Vegies and fruit to be tested for cancer risk

29th September 2006, 7:00 WST


In a big win for WA consumers, the State Government has agreed to introduce testing of fruit and vegetables for dangerous, cancer-causing pesticides, including DDT, which are banned in Australia.

Click here to find out more!



The move comes after a controversial parliamentary report warned six months ago that chemical screening of fresh fruit and vegetables in WA was woefully inadequate given the volumes being imported from countries which continued to use pesticides banned here.

Breast cancer cases rise 80% since Seventies

By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor

Published: 29 September 2006


It is the disease women fear more than any other, and its incidence is soaring. Breast cancer cases have hit a new record, official figures show, and the increase shows no sign of slowing.


A total of 36,939 women were diagnosed in England in 2004, an 81 per cent increase in incidence of the cancer since 1971, after statistical adjustment for the ageing of the population. Over the year, 41,000 cases were diagnosed in the UK.


Breast cancer is the commonest cancer in the UK, even though it principally affects only one gender (there are a few hundred cases each year in men).

It accounts for one in three of all newly diagnosed cases of cancer in females.


The age-standardised incidence in 2004 was 120.8 per 100,000 population, the highest figure on record, up from 66.9 in 1971. The figures are in Cancer Registrations, the annual statistical report issued by the Office for National Statistics, published yesterday.

Cancer is a disease of the elderly and most cancers, including breast cancer, are commoner in older age groups.

But breast cancer is increasing in every age group. Among those aged 20 to 34, the disease, though rare, increased by 50 per cent in the three decades from 1971 to 2001. In the 45 to 49 age group it rose by 41 per cent over the same period. The biggest increases have been in the 50 to 64 age group, in which the incidence has more than doubled after introduction of breast-screening which detects tumours too small to be picked up by a doctor performing a clinical examination..


They are all minor factors but taken together they mean a general trend up."


Better diagnosis through screening and improved recording of cases in local cancer registries had also contributed to the increase, Professor Peto added. He dismissed as "rubbish" suggestions that exposure to pesticides or other chemicals was fuelling the disease. "There isn't any good evidence [for other causes] over and above changes in lifestyle and improvements in diagnosis and registration," he said.

So . . . the fact that chlorinated hydrocarbons accumulate in fat (breast tissue) are only expelled by the human body in mother's milk, is bio-accumulative, has been shown to disrupt maternal instincts in other mammals (like seals when giving birth) has nothing to do with it.

I am sure we could make an interesting correlation between increased use of chlorinated hydrocarbons and the instance of breast cancer over the last 50 years.

But correlations prove nothing. Do they?

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  • 2 weeks later...

A technical, but interesting, web site


A sample

_II.A.2. Human Carcinogenicity Data


Inadequate. The existing epidemiological data are inadequate. Autopsy studies relating tissue levels of DDT to cancer incidence have yielded conflicting results. Three studies reported that tissue levels of DDT and DDE were higher in cancer victims than in those dying of other diseases (Casarett et al., 1968; Dacre and Jennings, 1970; Wasserman et al., 1976). In other studies no such relationship was seen (Maier-Bode, 1960; Robinson et al., 1965; Hoffman et al., 1967). Studies of occupationally exposed workers and volunteers have been of insufficient duration to be useful in assessment of the carcinogenicity of DDT to humans.

__II.A.3. Animal Carcinogenicity Data


Sufficient. Twenty-five animal carcinogenicity assays have been reviewed for DDT. Nine feeding studies, including two multigenerational studies, have been conducted in the following mouse strains: BALB/C, CF-1, A strain, Swiss/Bombay and (C57B1)x(C3HxAkR). Only one of these studies, conducted for 78 weeks, showed no indication of DDT tumorigenicity (NCI, 1978). Both hepatocellular adenomas and carcinomas were observed in six mouse liver tumor studies (Walker et al., 1973; Thorpe and Walker, 1973; Kashyap et al., 1977; Innes et al., 1969; Terracini et al., 1973; Turusov et al., 1973). Both benign and malignant lung tumors were observed in two studies wherein mice were exposed both in utero and throughout their lifetime (Shabad et al., 1973; Tarjan and Kemeny, 1969). Doses producing increased tumor incidence ranged from 0.15-37.5 mg/kg/day.


Three studies using Wistar, MRC Porton and Osborne-Mendel rats and doses from 25-40 mg/kg/day produced increased incidence of benign liver tumors (Rossi et al., 1977; Cabral et al., 1982; Fitzhugh and Nelson, 1946). Another study wherein Osborne-Mendel rats were exposed in this dietary dose range for 78 weeks was negative (NCI, 1978) as were three additional assays in which lower doses were given.


Tests of DDT in hamsters have not resulted in increased tumor incidence. Unlike mice and humans, hamsters accumulate DDT in tissue but do not metabolize it to DDD or DDE. Studies of DDT in dogs (Lehman, 1951, 1965) and monkeys (Adamson and Sieber, 1979, 1983) have not shown a carcinogenic effect. However, the length of these studies (approximately 30% of the animals' lifetimes) was insufficient to assess the carcinogenicity of DDT. DDT has been shown to produce hepatomas in trout (Halver, 1967).

__II.A.4. Supporting Data for Carcinogenicity


DDT has been shown to act as a liver tumor promoter in rats initiated with 2-acetylaminofluorene, 2-acetamidophenanthrene or trans-4-acetylaminostilbene (Peraino et al., 1975; Scribner and Mottet, 1981; Hilpert et al., 1983).


DDT has produced both negative and positive responses in tests for genotoxicity. Positive responses have been noted in V79 mutation assays, for chromosome aberrations in cultured human lymphocytes, and for sister chromatid exchanges in V79 and CHO cells (Bradley et al., 1981; Rabello et al., 1975; Preston et al., 1981; Ray-Chaudhuri et al., 1982). In one study, DDT was reported to interact directly with DNA; this result was not confirmed in the absence of a metabolizing system (Kubinski et al., 1981; Griffin and Hill, 1978).


DDT is structurally related to the following chemicals which produce liver tumors in mice: DDE, DDD, dicofol and chlorobenzilate.



Some history



Chemist's killer of a cure


By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | October 15, 2006


THE 2006 Nobel laureates are in the spotlight, but a recent piece of news -- an announcement from the World Health Organization -- calls to mind a Nobel laureate of an earlier era.


When the Swiss chemist Paul Muller was awarded the prize in medicine in 1948, he was hailed ``as a benefactor of mankind of such stature" that he would require ``the humility of a saint" to inoculate himself against hubris. Fortunately, Muller was not given to arrogance. He described his great discovery as merely ``a first foundation stone" in the ``puzzling and apparently endless domain" of pest-borne plague.

It had come as a surprise to him, he said modestly, to have discovered a chemical formula ``so useful in the fight against diseases in human beings."


``Useful" hardly began to describe it. As Time magazine noted, Muller's chemical ``kills the mosquitoes that carry malaria, the flies that carry cholera, the lice that carry typhus, the fleas that carry the plague, the sand flies that carry kalaazar and other tropical disease."


The name of this miracle formula? Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane -- better known as DDT.

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Chemist's killer of a cure


By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | October 15, 2006


THE 2006 Nobel laureates are in the spotlight, but a recent piece of news -- an announcement from the World Health Organization -- calls to mind a Nobel laureate of an earlier era.


When the Swiss chemist Paul Muller was awarded the prize in medicine in 1948, he was hailed ``as a benefactor of mankind of such stature" that he would require ``the humility of a saint" to inoculate himself against hubris. Fortunately, Muller was not given to arrogance. He described his great discovery as merely ``a first foundation stone" in the ``puzzling and apparently endless domain" of pest-borne plague. It had come as a surprise to him, he said modestly, to have discovered a chemical formula ``so useful in the fight against diseases in human beings."


``Useful" hardly began to describe it. As Time magazine noted, Muller's chemical ``kills the mosquitoes that carry malaria, the flies that carry cholera, the lice that carry typhus, the fleas that carry the plague, the sand flies that carry kalaazar and other tropical disease."


The name of this miracle formula? Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane -- better known as DDT.



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A sane article trying to present both sides of the debate


Today, two dozen countries — including Mozambique and nine other African nations — permit the use of small amounts of DDT for controlling specific insect-borne diseases, including malaria.


Malaria kills 1 million people, including 800,000 African children, every year. Dr. Arata Kochi, leader of the World Health Organization's global malaria program, strongly advocates using DDT to fight malaria, claiming that it poses little or no health risk when sprayed in small amounts on the inner walls of people's homes.


"Indoor residual spraying is useful to quickly reduce the number of infections caused by malaria-carrying mosquitoes "¦ and presents no health risk when used properly," agrees Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, WHO's assistant director-general for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Asamoa-Baah insists that DDT's public health benefits far outweigh its risks.


Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides, disagrees and advocates for techniques that do not rely on pesticides like DDT.


"The international community has a social responsibility to reject the use of this chemical and to practice sound and safe pest management practices," he says.

Feldman cites a recent study showing South African women living in DDT-treated dwellings to have 77 times the internationally accepted limit of the chemical in their breast milk. Researchers postulate that large amounts of DDT may have contaminated drinking water, exposing entire villages.


An interesting link to an organisation called "Beyond Pesticides"



Also this disturbing link


Chemical cocktail blamed for soaring breast cancer rate

By FIONA McRAE Last updated at 00:01am on 18th October 2006


Breast cancer: The number of cases has almost doubled in just a generation

Health news


Cocktails of gender-bending chemicals, found in everyday products from CD cases to babies' bottles, may be to blame for soaring rates of breast cancer, scientists have warned.


Experts fear the chemicals, used in pesticides, cosmetics, electrical goods and plastics, have the power to trigger the cancer which claims the lives of more than 1,000 British women a month.


The warning follows official figures which show the number of cases of breast cancer has almost doubled in a generation.

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CONCLUSIONS. Prenatal exposure to DDT, and to a lesser extent DDE, was associated with neurodevelopmental delays during early childhood, although breastfeeding was found to be beneficial even among women with high levels of exposure. Countries considering the use of DDT should weigh its benefit in eradicating malaria against the negative associations found in this first report on DDT and human neurodevelopment.

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Why does a search for "DDT" not take me to this thread?


Sorry - no matches. Please try some different terms.


Michigan city seeking new well water after traces of DDT found

ST. LOUIS, Mich. Traces of the banned pesticide D-D-T have turned up in three wells supplying the mid-Michigan city of Saint Louis.


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Hooray for DDT's Life-Saving Comeback

by Health Spa @ Wed, 25 Oct 2006 18:00:02 -0600

After more than 30 years and tens of millions dead—mostly children—the WorldHealth Organization (WHO) has ended its ban on DDT. DDT is the most effective imti-mosquito, anti-malaria pesticide known. But thanks lo the worldwide


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On WHO's decision on ending the ban on DDT: Ouch! The information obtained from text books becomes out-dated so fast.


But if it tilts more on saving thousands of lives from malaria than the assumed cumulative effect of it... Because I always thought that saving lives and / or reducing sufferings is / are part of medicine, this sounds as if to let do the inevitabilities for the benefit of the majority. :D

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  • 2 weeks later...
Malaria — Time to Act

Nicholas J. White, D.Sc., M.D


In the wealthier parts of the world, the death of a child from an infectious disease is a rare tragedy. In poor countries, it is commonplace. In rural sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of families have lost at least one child to a treatable infectious disease. Fortunately, with improvements in immunization coverage and public health in recent years, the death toll from killers such as pneumonia, diarrheal disease, measles, and tetanus has fallen. But deaths from AIDS and malaria have increased.

It is estimated that 1 million children die each year from falciparum malaria, yet malaria is both preventable and treatable.

The main reason why malaria-related mortality has increased while mortality associated with most other treatable and preventable infections has decreased is the continued deployment of ineffective antimalarial drugs in the face of increasing resistance.

Great article if you are interested in the medicine


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  • 3 weeks later...

Out of the mouthes of babes.


an excellent article on Persistent Organic Pollutants in Alaska, by articulate school kids

NOSB paper


This paper was written as part of the 2004 Alaska Ocean Sciences Bowl high school competition. The conclusions in this report are solely those of the student authors.

Persistent Organic Pollutants in Alaska



Ashley Kelly

Bekah Menze

Donna Shelton

Jenifer Stevensen

Kerri Powers



Team Steller

Juneau Douglas High School

10014 Crazy Horse Drive

Juneau, AK 99801

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