The Positive Effects Of DDT


In the United States, the media has a tendency to report only the
negative details of everything. Such was the case in the late 1960’s and
early 1970’s when the pesticide DDT was investigated and eventually
prohibited. Most of the claims against DDT remain unproved to this day.
There were three main allegations against DDT: that DDT caused the death of
many birds and could lead to the extinction of some bird populations; that
DDT was so stable that it could never be eliminated form the environment;
and that DDT might cause cancer in humans (Ray 71). None of these charges
has ever been substantiated. Some of them are outrageous exaggerations,
while others hold no truth at all. The most ...

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the benefits of DDT far exceed the
flaws.
DDT was first synthesized in 1887 and patented as an insecticide in
1939 by a Swiss chemist, Dr. Paul Müller (Whelan 69). It initially became
popular because of its effectiveness against insects, specifically clothes
moths and parasites of both animals and plants. DDT was welcomed as a
substitute for toxic insecticides like arsenic, mercury, fluorine, and lead
(Whelan 70). It was used by the Allied troops during World War II in order
to kill body lice without having harmful side-affects on humans. The
elimination of the lice resulted in the absence of typhus fever (which was
carried by the lice) among the Allied troops for the first time in the
history of warfare. After the insecticidal effects of DDT had been
discovered and proven during the war, scientists soon found that DDT was
effective against all sorts of other insects including the spruce budworm,
gypsy moth, tussock moth, pine weevil, and cotton boll weevil (Ray 68).
The ...

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Sri Lanka testify to the effectiveness of the spraying program. During
the years when DDT was being used, the number of malaria victims was
unbelievably lower than in the years preceding its use. When DDT was
banned, the numbers of malaria victims began to rise significantly. In
1948, Dr. Müller was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine because of the
medical importance of DDT (Whelan 70), specifically its ability to prevent
the spread of malaria, typhus, yellow fever, sleeping sickness, plague, and
encephalitis, which are all carried by insects (Ray 70). Dr. Samuel
Simmons, chief of the technology branch of the Communicable Disease Center
of the U.S. Public Health Service said in ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 11/6/2007 01:31:57 PM
Category: Science & Nature
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1873
Pages: 7

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