Here is what the right-wing fanatics at Human Events turn out in their attack on the environment and human health in the name of Junkscience (yes, Steven Milloy) regarding the use of DDT in Africa to combat malaria, peddled last September by Foxnews:
Last week’s announcement that the World Health Organization lifted its nearly 30-year ban on the insecticide DDT is perhaps the most promising development in global public health since… well, 1943 when DDT was first used to combat insect-borne diseases like typhus and malaria...
...Rachel Carson kicked-off DDT hysteria with her pseudo-scientific 1962 book, “Silent Spring.” Carson materially misrepresented DDT science in order to advance her anti-pesticide agenda.
Anyone who reads this nonsense would come to the conclusion that both the United States and International bans on the use of DDT was unfounded and scientifically without merit. In addition, because the deceptive authors of this bogus right-wing propaganda omit major portions of both the scientific detail as to the affects of DDT and the nature of its present day use, the reader is left misinformed and ignorant.
The right wing Neanderthals fail to disclose the nature of the application of DDT as authorized by the UN. Rather than my telling the story, why don't we go directly to the World Health Organization (WHO) and its release on the subject:
15 September 2006 – Nearly 30 years after safety concerns led to the phasing out of indoor spraying with DDT and other insecticides to control malaria, the United Nations health agency said today it will start promoting this method again to fight the global scourge that kills more than one million people every year, including around 3,000 children everyday.
“The scientific and programmatic evidence clearly supports this reassessment. Indoor residual spraying is useful to quickly reduce the number of infections caused by malaria-carrying mosquitoes,” said Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, World Health Organization (WHO) Assistant Director-General for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.
“Indoor residual spraying has proven to be just as cost effective as other malaria prevention measures, and DDT presents no health risk when used properly.” Indoor residual spraying is the application of long-acting insecticides on the walls and roofs of houses and domestic animal shelters.
“We must take a position based on the science and the data,” said Dr Arata Kochi, Director of WHO’s Global Malaria Programme. “One of the best tools we have against malaria is indoor residual house spraying. Of the dozen insecticides WHO has approved as safe for house spraying, the most effective is DDT.”
WHO actively promoted indoor residual spraying for malaria control until the early 1980s when increased health and environmental concerns surrounding DDT caused the organization to stop promoting its use and to focus instead on other means of prevention. Extensive research and testing has since demonstrated that well-managed indoor residual spraying programmes using DDT pose no harm to wildlife or to humans, the agency said.
Views about the use of insecticides for indoor protection from malaria have been changing in recent years. Environmental Defense, which launched the anti-DDT campaign in the 1960s, now endorses the indoor use of DDT for malaria control, as does the Sierra Club and the Endangered Wildlife Trust. (emphasis added)
In other words, the UN reversed a 1980's decision after new research showed that a very limited use of DDT as applied to indoor spraying of the walls and roofs of structures, not the massive outdoor spraying of the 1940's-60's, was acceptable.
For those who want a better understanding of Indoor Residual Spraying(IRS) of DDT, here are some good links:
- USAID Indoor Residual Spraying ... The use of the insecticide DDT for IRS is very different from the massive agricultural applications that led to the ban of DDT in the United States and other countries, both in terms of the amounts of insecticide used and the potential risks to the environment.
- MedicalNewsToday...Indoor residual spraying is the application of long-acting insecticides on the walls and roofs of houses and domestic animal shelters in order to kill malaria-carrying mosquitoes that land on these surfaces
- US Embassy Press Release Nairobi...The use of the insecticide DDT for IRS is very different from the massive agricultural applications that led to the ban of DDT in the United States and other countries, both in terms of the amounts of insecticide used and the potential risks to the environment...