DDT and many other similar toxins may not cause immediate poisoning of
mammals but that does not by any means implies it is safe.
Check out Deborah Cadbury's "Altering Eden : The Feminization of Nature"St
Martin's Press, 1999 for a good popular review of the endocrine toxins.
At 10:27 PM 01/15/2000 PST, you wrote:
>Eliezer quoted Julian Simon, from
>>1945: DDT, sensationalized by Rachel Carson in 1962. Said to cause
>>hepatitis. Discontinued in U.S. in 1972. Known then to be safe to humans
>>(caused death only if eaten like pancakes). Some damage to wildlife under
>>special conditions. With the aid of DDT, "India had brought the number of
>>malaria cases down from the estimated 75 million in 1951 to about 50,000 in
>>1961. Sri Lanka...reduced malaria from about three million cases after
>>World War II to just 29 in 1964". Then as the use of DDT went down,
>>"Endemic malaria returned to India like the turnaround of a tide". By 1977
>>"the number of cases reached at least 30 million and perhaps 50 million".
>>In 1971, amidst the fight that led to the banning of DDT in 1972, the
>>president of the National Academy of Science - distinguished biologist
>>Philip Handler - said "DDT is the greatest chemical that has ever been
>>discovered". Commission after commission, top expert after top Nobel
>>prize-winning expert, has given DDT a clean bill of health.
>Like most people, I suppose, I think of DDT as a dangerous
>poison. The passage above asserts that it's safe for humans
>and suggests that the post-Sixties resurgence of malaria has
>something to do with the banning of DDT in the USA. A little
>research shows that it had everything to do with the growth
>in pesticide resistance, and nothing to do with pesticide
>Reasons for the resurgence of malaria:
>Pesticide resistance, growth of mosquito breeding grounds,
>expansion of human settlement into malaria-friendly areas,
>budget restraints. No reference to environmentalist scaremongering
>as a factor.
>DDT's use in India:
>states that pesticide production in India peaked in the 1980s, and
>DDT was banned there only in 1997, long after the resurgence quoted
>DDT's effects on human health:
>'Some of the recent scientific findings summarised in the report
>provide evidence that DDT can damage the developing brain, causing
>hypersensitivity, behavioural abnormalities and reduced nerve function.
> 'It has also been shown to suppress the immune system, which causes
>slower response to infections.'
>>From _A growing problem: pesticides and the Third
>World poor_ by David Bull (OXFAM, 1982), p30:
>'In India malaria incidence was down to just 49,000
>cases in 1961 (from 75 million or so in the early '50s)
>but was back to over a million by 1971 and nearly 6.5
>million by 1976...
>'In the final years of the 1970s there has been
>some recovery... In India, for example, malaria
>incidence fell from its 1976 peak to 4.4 million
>in 1977, 2.84 million in 1978 and 2.7 million in
>After listing various inadequacies of health
>infrastructure which contributed to the resurgence,
>the author states:
>'The most significant cause of the resurgence of
>malaria, however, is the resistance built up by
>the mosquitoes to the insecticides which have
>been relied upon for malaria vector control.'
>The number of pesticide-resistant species of
>insects and mites known (p31):
>And consider the first edition of _The Ultimate Resource_
>itself (Princeton University Press, 1981). The version on
>the web, I assume, is that of the 1998 revised edition.
>There is one reference to DDT in the index of the 1981
>edition, and this is what it leads to:
>'Because of DDT and other synthetic pesticides,
>medical technologists thought for a time that
>population density was no longer necessary to prevent
>malaria. Malaria was considered beaten. But
>throughout the world the disease has bounced back...
>Due to the evolution of pesticide resistant strains
>of carrier insects and the concomitant daage to the
>insects' natural predators, pesticides soon lost
> 'Once again the only sure weapon against malaria
>may turn out to be increased population density.'
>(p252-253, Chapter 18, 'Population Density Does Not
>Damage Health, or Psychological and Social Well-Being')
> [Apparently population growth helps the fight
>against malaria because (i) swamps and other mosquito
>incubators get paved over, (ii) there are more people
>to run the health infrastructure.]
>>Is Rachel Carson still alive? Let's have her tried at Nuremburg and hung.
>and thereby fell for *someone's* spin-doctoring.
>Whoever supplied Julian Simon with his facts surely
>knew what they were doing.
>Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com
Ralph Lewis, Professor of Management and Human Resources
College of Business
California State University, Long Beach
Long Beach, California
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