DDT and Malaria: Setting the Record Straight
Some basic facts to dispel the new myths about DDT. DDT is in the news again, promoted by a handful of aggressive advocates as a silver bullet solution to malaria in Africa. The DDT promoters’ story goes something like this:
“Malaria is killing people in Africa, but environmentalists care more about saving birds and are blocking the use of DDT to save people. DDT wiped out malaria in the U.S., but is now being denied to Africans. DDT is the best way to fight malaria. There are no health effects from DDT exposure, and its use should be widespread.”
The only accurate part of this story is that malaria does kill millions of people in Africa every year, a preventable public health tragedy of catastrophic proportions.