DDT Must Not Be Used to Combat Malaria, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

According to Hindrik Bouwman, Henk van den Berg, and Henrik Kylin, the current global debate over the application of DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) to combat and prevent the spread of malaria “is polarized and can be classified into three positions–anti-DDT, centrist-DDT, and pro-DDT,” and although all of these positions are relevant to preventing malaria in places like Africa where 3,000 children die every single day from the disease (“DDT and Malaria Prevention”), the application of DDT must be halted, due to its negative and often deadly effects on the environment and the health of those who live in areas sprayed with DDT to help lower the mosquito population.

Bouwman, van den Berg, and Kylin also point out that DDT, “a chemical specifically made and used to kill living things” like mosquitoes, is extremely toxic and a number of scientific studies done over the last ten years have conclusively shown that DDT is “associated with effects on a number of noninsect biological systems, including humans,” and that it is linked to endocrine disruption, neurological development, and certain forms of cancer (“DDT and Malaria Prevention”).

These facts are supported by Maria Cone who reports that many scientists have recently recommended “that the spraying of DDT in malaria-plagued Africa and Asia should be greatly reduced because people are exposed in their homes to high levels that may cause serious health effects.” Some of the side effects of DDT include “reduced fertility, genital birth defects, breast cancer, diabetes, and damage to developing brains,” not to mention blocking male hormones via its metabolite known as DDE (“Should DDT Be Used to Combat Malaria?”).

Therefore, due to its negative and deadly side effects, DDT must not be utilized to combat malaria. Logically, one would assume that other pest control chemicals are currently available (or soon will be available) to help kill mosquitoes that carry malaria.

Bibliography

Bouwman, Hindrik, van den Berg, Henk, & Henrik Kylin. “DDT and Malaria Prevention: Addressing the Paradox.” Environmental Health Perspectives. 2011. Web. 9 August 2012.

Cone, Maria. “Should DDT Be Used to Combat Malaria?” Scientific American. 2009. Web. 9 August 2012.

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