DDT or NO DDT?

This may be off topic but considering the chemical vs organic arguement, I think it should be included here.
A google of DDT and death will result in articles such as
http://info-pollution.com/moreddt.htm
I think we can have an interesting discussion after reading several of those articles.
Is DDT more harmful than useful?
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More harmful, search for researches and you will see that there this dilema is non sense
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snipped-for-privacy@charter.net writes:

I'm still wondering why there is not more widespread use of products such as mosquito dunks, they work and work very well. It seems to be a more effective method than spraying chemicals. I take special pleasure in placing them in my fish pond knowing the mosquitoes will come, lay their eggs, and end that lineage. How would the cost of providing such substances compare with the cost of DDT and other sprays? Seems killing the larvae is the key as they never get into the air to bite and breed.
There must be a practical way to provide similar product (grains instead of dunks?) and spread/apply it. There is no harm to any creature or plant other than mosquito larvae.
This is a sincere question. Why isn't that practice being used?
Glenna
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Glenna Rose wrote:

I don't know; I suspect it's because of the difficulty in finding all the little pockets of water where mosquitoes can breed.
The way spraying the houses works is the mosquito likes to rest a bit after feeding. So by spraying the inside walls of the houses/huts, the anopheles (sp?) mosquito that has just bitten an already infected person dies before it gets a chance to bite somebody else. So I suppose they are trying to eradicate the plasmodia parasite itself moreso than just the vector that spreads it.
The lesson of DDT use in the USA is that indescrimate overuse of DDT (and probably any pesticide) is bad for the enviroment; it accumulates and concentrates in the food chain. And because of this amplification effect, we need to be careful even with low pesticide usage rates. But people like to oversimplify things and they like to blame inanimate objects as being inherently good or evil.
Interesting factoid: people who are carriers of sickle-cell anemia have a natural resistance to acute malaria.
Best regards, Bob
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On Date: 5 Mar 2006 09:21:55 -0800,

Date: 12 Mar 2006, indicates:

Meanwhile, over 100 years ago there lived a man named Charles Robert Darwin who wrote a book.
Charles Darwin (12 February 1809 - 19 April 1882) wrote in 1859, "I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term Natural Selection." The full title of the book, commonly referenced as "The Origin of Species":
"On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life"
On a side note, a hairless man advances that he represents the next step in the evolution of man.
I counter that the advancement may not amount to anything until he reproduces the trait and it displays itself in his children or grand- children. For him, some more work follows.
My votes: No to DDT. No to monosodium glutamate (MSG). No to potasium benzoate and no to sodium benzoate. No to aspartame.
James also stated that it would take years to go "organic". However, organic only takes one thing, work and perserverence. Last year my avocado tree produced about 60 avocadoes, the young mango tree produced 1 mango, the pineapple plant grew 1 pineapple but now I have 3 pineapple plants. The tomatoes struggled but I did get over 30 cherry tomatoes off of one vine (and its still producing) and 10 beautiful cucumbers off of several vines. I experienced aphids, slugs, bugs, butterflies, flies, misquitoes, wasps, lady bugs, and I hope to see a ton of bumble bees within the next week (the avocado tree attracts them for one or two days where they swarm over the tree). This year I'm interplanting marigold, marjoram and nasturtium in with the tomatoes, and there's now four or five mustard leaf plants. The orange tree produced bitter oranges but it produced a quite a few oranges (60 or more).
The mango tree, maybe 5 years old is fully blossomed and beautiful. It pales compared to the much older mango trees in the neighbor's yard but I'm quite happy to see all these blossoms on it. Maybe I'll get 4 or 5 mangoes this year. A pineapple plant took off not far from it, and then not far from that are 4 or 5 carrots that grow very slowly (for almost a year, maybe longer). I pulled up a carrot and supposedly it grows to 12 inches, but this one only lengthed 5 inches. I need some advice on getting the carrots to grow better.
Of course there's the things I'm disappointed in, the peas and the green beas tend to fail. I keep planting them, but this time I'm attempting cow-peas instead of green peas.
I planted a mustard seed from a jar of mustard seeds (over four years old) and it took and bolted much quicker than the other mustard seed I planted (Florida broadleaf variety). The Florida broadleaf mustard takes a while longer to bolt but produces a lot of tasty leaves.
The nasturtium tastes great and it's the first time I've ever eaten nasturtium. There's a lot of different pepper growing, and I noted that a tomato plant planted next to one pepper plant, produced a lot more peppers on that particular pepper plant. Am I mistaken, or do tomatoes benefit pepper plants (specifically a serrano pepper). In fact, I'm quite positive the serrano pepper plant benefited the tomato plant as well (cherry tomatoes from a seed taken out of a store bought cherry tomato).
Jim Carlock Post replies to the group.
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On Sun, 12 Mar 2006 16:00:13 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org (Glenna Rose) wrote:

My swag is money and logistics. How much Bt subspecies israaelenses would it take to treat a lake? How do you treat a river and not have it wash away? How do you get it into all those tiny puddles and bits of standing water that aren't obvious?
And, with the constant political disruptions and civil wars that seem to sweep across Africa, how would you establish the 5 or 10 year program that it would take to eradicate the disease?
It's a good idea, if the dunks could be put in the hands of folks that need them. But...<shrug>
Penelope
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On Sun, 12 Mar 2006 16:00:13 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org (Glenna Rose) wrote:
Hey Glenna,
Looks like others think your idea is a good one.
http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev-5385-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html
A Natural Weapon for Preventing Malaria in the Peruvian Amazon
2001-01-19 Stephanie Boyd
[Photo: The bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis, can be grown using coconuts or yucca plants.]
In the malaria-ridden Peruvian Amazon, researchers and local health officials have developed a new method of combatting the deadly disease using the yucca plant to produce a cheap and simple alternative to pesticides.
The bacteria Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis H-14) has long been recognized as a natural method of killing mosquito larvae without harming other life forms. The costs of producing the bacteria, however, are too high for a developing nation like Peru. Undeterred, researchers from Lima's Instituto de Medicina Tropical Alexander von Humboldt (IMT AvH), at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH), led by microbiologist Palmira Ventosilla, have developed a 'natural laboratory' for producing Bti.
Yucca tea
Their method involves growing Bti using the 'tea' from boiled yucca plants, which is then applied to malaria-breeding ponds to kill mosquito larvae. This process originated from a successful seven-year pilot project using coconuts to ferment Bti in Salitral, a community in Peru's northern coastal region. The project ended in 1998, but the community continues to use the method with minimum supervision from the IMT AvH team.
"This was the first project of its kind where [a Peruvian] community was directly involved in producing a mosquito larvicide for malaria prevention," says Ms. Ventosilla, who spent years developing a multi-disciplinary method to transfer the process to local communities with funds from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Canadian embassy, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Positive evaluation
An evaluation of the project was positive. A survey of 50 school children involved in the initiative found that all of them knew the effects of Bti action, and 54 % correctly identified the malaria transmission cycle. Moreover, 89 % of all participants said they would like to participate in a malaria prevention brigade. The only hitch was obtaining funding to continue and disseminate the project. After a lengthy campaign, the regional Ministry of Health authorities in Loreto, an Amazon Department, agreed to support an extension of the project.
Phase one, conducted in 1999, involved adapting the Bti method to the jungle climate and culture. The locally abundant and inexpensive yucca plant replaced the coconut, and three pilot communities near Iquitos, the regional capital, were chosen. Funds were acquired from the US-based non-governmental organization, Rivers of the World (ROW), for a laboratory, and health department officials in Loreto were taught the yucca method. With guidance from Ventosilla's team, health officials are now preparing for the first applications, which are planned to begin in February 2001.
Breeding grounds
"The jungle is another world a sea of breeding grounds [for the mosquito]," says Ventosilla. "There are areas where the Ministry of Health has never gone in to map out the breeding grounds. We're discovering so many new things in this project it's fascinating."
The final and most difficult step, she says, will involve transferring the process of producing and applying Bti to local communities. As in the Salitral project, Ventosilla plans to include anthropologists, sociologists, educators, and community members.
Working with communities
"The idea is to improve the process by working with communities," explains Ventosilla, who adds that in Salitral, community members helped adapt the process to their needs and contributed to the development of educational materials.
In the future, ROW hopes to secure funding for a boat laboratory that would travel the Amazon, applying the Bti bio-insecticide in isolated areas and providing medicine and treatment for malaria victims. Malaria is on the rise in Peru and poses serious problems for public health. In 1999, the Ministry of Health reported over 140,000 malaria cases, and medical professionals say that many more cases go unreported.
Technology transfer
Faced with this grave situation, Ventosilla's team is working to adapt the project to other areas in Peru, and the visionary biologist would ultimately like the procedure to spread across borders. Toward this end, she has already trained a team of Mexican scientists and ROW has expressed interest in transferring the technology to Africa where many countries still use DDT (which has been banned in North America and Europe) to combat malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
Ventosilla points out that since the early 1970s, mosquitoes have been developing resistance to pesticides, including DDT. She says the Bti method, combined with preventive measures such as mosquito nets and paving irrigation channels provides an effective alternative to toxic chemicals.
Stephanie Boyd is a freelance journalist and documentary film maker based in Lima, Per. (Photo: M. Cabellos)
If you have any comments about this article, please contact snipped-for-privacy@idrc.ca .
For more information: Palmira Ventosilla Lpez, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, A.P. 4314, Lima 100, Per; Tel: (511) 482-3910, 482-3903, 482-3401; Fax: (511) 482-3404; Email: snipped-for-privacy@upch.edu.pe
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snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org (Glenna Rose) writes:

Some years ago I read a science brief that it had been discovered that during the host stage of malaria (when a person's blood is infected) the organism is part plant, i.e., it contains chloroplasts, IIRC. What benefit chloroplasts could offer the parasite was not suggested. But it was theorised that with this fact in mind, it might at some future stage be possible to attack the disease by administering something as cheap and simple as a safe-for-humans weedkiller, e.g., of the glyphosate genre. Since then, I have heard nothing more on this amazing peculiarity of malaria.
This being a group dealing with plants, I thought I'd just mention it--in the faint hope that another avid reader of science might be able to corroborate my recollection. No one else has been able to. :-( -- John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)
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James wrote:

DDT would be great for eradicating malaria. IMHO, malaria is the reason Africa is a backwards continent that never will amount to much. If they could beat malaria, Africa could join the 20th century -- or maybe even the 21st. <g>
DDT is relatively non-toxic to humans, and it doesn't take much to spray the inside walls of houses to kill the mosquitoes.
Developed countries that have already beaten malaria can get by without DDT. We tend to use way too much pesticides in general.
Best regards, Bob
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zxcvbob wrote:

There was an article in either Discovery or Scientific American a couple of months ago about malaria. One of its points is the harmfullness of DDT is from the large quantities used in agriculture. Much smaller amounts would need to be used against malaria carrying mosquito so the amount of problem generated would be much smaller than the amount of benefit generated.

So long as that success doesn't tempt massive use in agriculture.

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wrote:

Well, that's just silly. AIDS is the biggest health problem in Africa today, but there are plenty of others, even when you just consider parasites. River blindness, leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis, and schistosomiasis are just a few I can think of off the top of my head. The political and social issues would take days to cover, but they're certainly germane to any discussion on the problems that most of Africa third world.

I hate to sound like a stuck record, but everyone keeps glossing over the whole resistance factor. There were already some 20 or so species of mosquitoes that were resistant to DDT by the time the ban went into effect in the 70's. There were documented cases of species of resistant house flies, too.
If we went back to using DDT today, there would be lots of areas in Africa that it wouldn't work, and those areas would rapidly increase; so there's already a need to find other tools in the fight against malaria.

Not all malarial mosquitoes rest on the inside wall of the house, though, some go outside before resting. <shrug> It's not a simple problem.

I can certainly agree with that.
Penelope
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Hello Penelope & all;

for it). But absent a "cure" the only preventative we have for AIDS today, is abstinence. And, maybe it's just me...but that 'self-administered' preventative doesn't seem to be working real well...
We have a "cure" for Malaria--and a preventative as well. While it may offend the sensibilities of those ostensibly concerned with critters, it's been shown to really, Really, REALLY help those that can benefit from it--the children of sub-Saharan Africa come to mind.
All of the factual, in-depth, long-term studies that I've seen on DDT, have shown it to be no threat to us or our wildlife (except those living in a chitin skin).

easier to deal with them when you're not swatting at ookinete infested mosquitoes...

...
some of those mosquitoes to become resistant, that it's okay to let 1.3 million people/year die?

period after WWII until the eco-nutz got it banned in the '70's. It pretty effectively eradicated that disease. It's probably just my lack of mosquito entomology showing, but I'm pretty sure those resistant ones living here can't make it all the way to Africa to invest their resistant genes over there... In the mean time, 1.3 million folks (mostly children) die every year while the "do-gooders" dither...

guarantee...except the finality of death from malaria.

I'm not sure what else we can use TODAY that can make a difference...
L8r all, DustyB ...
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On Mon, 13 Mar 2006 15:39:58 -0800, "Dusty Bleher"

Yeah, those amoral rape victims and wives of philandering husbands just have no self control. We should ignore their plight and concentrate on a disease that isn't spread by something dirty like S. E. X ..

Actually, there are drug resistant strains of Plasmodium species as well as the DDT resistant strains of Anopheles mosquitoes. Poor patient compliance and self-treatment are the main culprits. Those could be construed as "self-inflicted", sort of like the "self-administered" preventative for AIDS, so maybe we should pass on those victims?

Cites, please, because that's not what I've read. DDT is not the Chemical That Destroyed The World the hysterical greenies would have us believe, but neither is it harmless. The problem is not the initial application, the problem lies in the fact that it takes so long to break down. It stays with us for a very long time, and it's the accumulation in the environment that causes the very adverse effects.

What's the difference between getting bitten by an ookinete infested mosquito and an ookinete infested snail or fly? They're all very nasty parasitic diseases that have an arthropod vector.
<...>

I'm saying that it's cruel and short-sighted to put all our malaria prevention eggs into the one DDT basket rather than continuing to research a more effective and inexpensive preventative. There are some 60 species of Anopheles mosquitoes that carry malaria, there are already 20 some species that we know are resistant. If we ignore those resistant species in a rush to the altar of DDT, we're not offering very much protection. There are usually multiple species of Anopheles in any one area, so killing some doesn't do much to prevent infection by another.

That's not correct. There were large scale spraying programs all over the world to try and eradicate malaria. The problem in Africa was the lack of an infrastructure to facilitate an eradication program. Malaria was not just a problem in Africa, there were pockets of malaria in Europe that were cleaned out.
And, thinking on it a bit, why are we only talking about Africa? Malaria is in most of Asia and South and Central America.

Um, it just occured to me, you do realize that DDT is still being used as a vector control, don't you? DDT is not off the market, there are treaties that set restrictions on its use, but it is still being used in malaria control. With everyone throwing around the word "ban" so freely, I thought I should mention it.

The first species of resistant Anopheles was found in India in the late 1940's, *not* in the US.

Yes, I've been deeply impressed with your open-mindedness on the subject.

Um, Dusty? Malaria is not 100% fatal. It's still very treatable in most cases, although the more powerful and expensive drugs necessary to combat drug resistant malaria come with some serious side effects, too. When the patients haven't wasted all their money on surviving that AIDS stuff, that is.
See, infrastructure. If we could get the drugs to the patients, we could treat them; but finding, diagnosising them, and monitoring correct administration of the drugs takes money, manpower, and access to the patients.
This is also why DDT offers such false hope. Spotty spraying and treatment encourage resistance in both the vector and the disease, not eradication.

And it's far easier to bash "eco-nuts" than try and find out.
http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev-5460-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html looks like a good program. There are other alternatives to depending solely on DDT, but expense seems to be the limiting factor.
Penelope
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Well, yeah. I can find about a dozen or so web sites that claim that, just as I can find a dozen or so that claim DDT will end! all! life! as we know it.
I realize I put a large spiky burr up your butt and wounded your pride by trouncing your flabberings about the difficulties and futility organic gardening. I suspect that's what that cross-posting nonsense to a Scottish group was about the other night, you wanted help from your friends. And I realize that you're not especially interested in balance, just in winning; but you really should have explored the web site I posted.
The International Development Research Centre's a really interesting organization created by the Canadian government, and they are, among other things, helping countries test and establish malaria control programs that really do take cultural and biological idiosyncrasies of each area into account.
Here, look again
http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev-5460-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html
Explore a little, it's really interesting.
Anybody from Canada here know much about this organization? A quick google didn't turn up much of anything about it, but I've really wasted a lot time cruising their site. It's fascinating reading, and I'd be crushed if it was all a bunch of hooey.

Tsk...such bitterness!
Penelope
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wrote:
Any particular reason you're cross-posting this to a Scottish group? Other than to recruit help with the mean lady and start a flame war, that is.
I have set my replies to rec.gardens.edible only.

You've mangled the post with your random snippage. I didn't say this, and you snipped out " We tend to use way too much pesticides in general" in order to make your response look stronger.

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
Once again you're creating a false dichotomy. It's not an either or choice. We can save bald eagles *and* children in Africa. DDT is not the only pesticide on the market, it's just one that's cheap and familiar. And, well, remember that whole resistance thing? By focusing on using only DDT we offer false hope. DDT was used in Africa from the late 1940's until 1970, and it didn't rid the continent of malaria. This would be where understanding the political climate and culture of the people would come in handy, but it doesn't lend itself to creating hysterical anti-environmentalism reactions, so I suppose it doesn't interest you.
Nice try with the racist angle though.

Remember what I said about embracing the power of "and"?
Penelope
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DDT is relatively non-toxic to humans, and it doesn't take much to spray

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Powerless Agronomist wrote:

How many salamanders and rare bog plants are you going to doom to extinction by draining the swamps?
There are no perfect solutions. The DDT will lose its effectiveness eventually; that's one of the reasons to restrict its use just to malaria control.
How did we get onto this topic anyway? Oh yeah, James came in here tossing grenades about just to stir up trouble.
Bob
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