Posted by: bravo22c | 15/06/2012

On DDT

The mass murdress Rachel Carson’s book prompted hysteria amongst so-called environmentalists who assigned the cause of blame of a higher incidence of leukemia and liver tumors in mice fed DDT than in unexposed mice the decline in populations of such wild bird species as the ospreys and peregrine falcons on the contamination by DDT of their environment. 

Actual epidemiological studies, however, found no increases in liver cancer in populations where DDT was in constant use – the  WHO investigated the 1969 mice study, and found that /i>both</i> cases and controls had developed a surprising number of tumors. It turned out that foods fed to both groups were mouldy and contained aflatoxin, a carcinogen.  (When the tests were repeated using non-contaminated foods, neither group developed tumours.)

As far as the ‘death of birds’ BS goes, declines in bird populations were documented as occurring either before DDT was present or years after DDT’s use.  The Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Counts between 1941 (pre-DDT) and 1960 show that at least 26 different kinds of birds became <i>more</i> numerous during
the period of greatest DDT usage, including an overall increase in the numbers of birds seen per observer from 1941 to 1960, (Bald eagles, the talisman species – 197 bald eagles documented in 1941,
891 in 1960.

Similar studies in Canada and the UK provided similar results.  In Canadian peregrines “reproducing normally” in the 1960s even though their tissues contained 30 times more DDT than did
the tissues of the peregrines in the alarmist studies in the US Mid West.  In the UK, the results of a three-year study published in 1969, noted that the decline of peregrine falcons in Britain
had ended in 1966 even though DDT levels were as
abundant as ever.   The study concluded that “There is no close correlation between the decline in population of predatory birds, particularly the peregrine falcon and the sparrow hawk, and the use of DDT.”

The Ban.

In 1971, in the US, authority over pesticides was transferred from the DoA to th newly EPA. In April 1972, after seven months of testimony, Federal Judge Edmund Sweeney stated that in his judgement that  “DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man . . . The uses of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wildbirds, or other wildlife . . . The evidence in this proceeding supports the conclusion that there is a present need for the essential uses of DDT.”  Two months later EPA head William Ruckelshaus—<i>who had never attended a single day’s session in theseven months of EPA hearings, and <b>who admitted hehad not even read the transcript of the hearings</b>—</i> declared that DDT was a “potential human carcinogen” and banned it for virtually all uses.The effects.

Amongst others:  In Sri Lanka DDT spraying had reduced malaria cases from 2.8 million in 1948 to <b>17</b> in 1963. After spraying was stopped in 1964, malaria cases began to rise again and reached
2.5 million in 1969.

In Zanzibar, the prevalence of malaria among the populace dropped from 70 percent in 1958, when DDT spraying became widespread,  to 5 percent in 1964, when DDT spraying stopped.  By 1984 it was back up to between 50 and 60 percent.

There’s lots more…

 

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Responses

  1. “empirical”

  2. Ha, ha, ha. I offer actual empiric studies and you present a 50 year old argumentum ad verecundiam.

    You have found not a single jot or tittle in peer -reviewed research… about a non-peer reviewed book.

    What do you not understand in ‘…In the 1940s, it helped eradicate malaria from the US. Yet since the 1970s, its use has been discontinued in many African countries, largely due to pressure from Europe and the US: places in which malaria is no longer a problem…’

    OK, got it, you’re not interested in the real world, just your invested opinions.

    • Where have you offered any empiral studies? I missed all such citations. Could you provide them again?

  3. PS. I would hazard a guess that you are one of the 70% of your countrymen who do not have a passport and couldn’t find Mozambique on a map of Mozambique.

  4. In contrast to your post, each statement I make is supportable by history, law and science.

    Facts? Here:
    http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/ddt-chronicles-at-millard-fillmores-bathtub/

    And here:
    http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/chemicals/ddt-brief-history-status.htm

    You would do well to read Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring — I make an educated guess that you’ve never seen it. No honest person could read the book, especially with the extensive scientific documentation she offers, and make the post that starts this thread, at least no honestly. As an honest guy, you should read the book.

    • Your guess is not as educated as you might like to believe – in fact, it is an entirely wrong assumption. And all of my statements are supported by facts – though you will, doubtless ignore them and remain wedded to your emotional BS. It remains the case that the mass-murdress Carson’s outpourings have been thoroughly discredited by empiric observation. On the examples I gave:

      In Mozambique in 2000 malaria is the major cause of health problems, being responsible for 40% of all outpatients. Up to 60% of paediatric inpatients are suffering from severe malaria. Malaria is also the major cause of mortality in hospitals in Mozambique, i.e. approximately 30% of all hospital deaths. The estimated prevalence rates in the 2 to 9 year-old age group varies from 40 to 80%, with 90% of children under five years old infected by malaria parasites in some areas.

      Zanzibar is moving towards malaria elimination after USAID and the WHO approved the resumption of the use of DDT for residual sprain inside dwellings.

      ‘Indoor spraying with DDT—a compound that both kills and repels the mosquitoes that harbor the malaria parasite—has been causally associated with declining malaria rates in several countries. In the 1940s, it helped eradicate malaria from the US. Yet since the 1970s, its use has been discontinued in many African countries, largely due to pressure from Europe and the US: places in which malaria is no longer a problem. And, despite efforts from the Roll Back Malaria initiative—a collaboration between more than 90 international organizations including the WHO and the World Bank—to halve the number of deaths by 2010, the incidence of malaria in Africa continues to increase.’ http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v12/n8/full/nm0806-863.html

      You would do well to get your head out of the likes of Silent Spring and look around you in the real world.

      • Please read Carson’s book again. As you know, in 1962 and 1963, the President’s Science Advisory Council combed over the book to find error — and found none. In their report to President Kennedy in 1963, they implied criticism for the literary tone of Carson’s writing, but they found her conclusions on DDT to be non-alarmist, and not tough enough. They recommended immediate action by the government to restrict use of DDT.

        See more about that report here: http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2009/05/15/history-may-15-1963-presidents-council-vindicates-rachel-carson-warns-of-pesticide-dangers/

        I have searched for years, and I have found not a single jot nor tittle of Carson’s scientific citations ever contradicted by any peer-reviewed research. If you have some, it would be the first.

      • Probably because I offered five links to supporting evidence, my last post went into your moderation queue. Would you be so kind as to spring it? Thank you.

  5. Not much for fact, are you?

  6. DDT remains a poison. It was not banned for being carcinogenic — though now we now it is — it was banned because it’s a poison that kills entire ecosystems and cannot be controlled in the wild.

    The ban on DDT use covered ONLY agricultural crops, and ONLY in side the U.S. The U.S. ban increased the amount of DDT available for fighting malaria, had any nation wished to use it for that purpose. DDT has never been banned in Africa or Asia.

    Malaria declines, ironically declining almost in lock-step with the decline in DDT use. Since Rachel Carson’s book was published in 1962, malaria infections have been reduced by 50%, and malaria deaths have been reduced by 75%. Consequently, if Carson is to have responsibility for malaria infections after her book, we must celebrate her as one of the greatest life savers in history, with more than 50 millions of lives saved.


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