DDT As Portrayed In Silent Spring By Rachel Carson

Decent Essays
According to the World Health Organization, Malaria has over 500 million cases and 2.7 million deaths every year with it being endemic in 91 countries. Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, or DDT, is an insecticide that was used for years before there was a huge backlash over the effects on the environment from the mass usage that culminated in a total ban in the United States in the early 1970s; it also takes down the populations of insects that carry Malaria and other illnesses like it. The book that started the controversy, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, stated that DDT could cause cancers and kill humans while no human deaths have ever been officially linked to DDT. The actual fears over DDT were the environmental consequences of spraying…show more content…
The usage was fairly unregulated and the CDC was in charge of stopping malaria at the time of DDT’s rise to pesticide related stardom which may have a played a part in the overuse. The real issue lies in the quick, repeated usage of the insecticide in the same areas as, with a half life of ~75 years, it takes a long time to fully get out of the area. This is a possible concern but if there is light enough usage and more focused spraying there may not be such damages to the environment. The focused effort wouldn’t even have to be in farms if you were to choose the other, more logical,…show more content…
This was very effective but the issue arose that there was virtually no limitation on the use of the so-called carcinogen. Currently, somewhere around 14 countries use DDT to fight malaria and it is helping. There are still huge death tolls due to malaria alone (as seen here using an older algorithm) and other insect-borne illnesses can be “eradicated,” as news outlets like to call it when they are so rare that they are almost impossible to get. Not only is it effective at killing mosquitoes but it is also cheap to use as it only costs around $1.44 per year for one household. This brings me to my next point, the proper usage of DDT in the modern age is to use very small amounts indoors instead of massive amounts everywhere, as is the American way. We managed to make malaria one of the most difficult things to catch in the western hemisphere with DDT and responsible usage can do it again with less dramatic side-effects. With both cost and efficiency being the most important factors in most large quantity buyouts there are very few reasons not to accept it as a solution to an endemic disease that affects seemingly exclusively
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