How the EPA Is Like DDT

Though synthesized in 1874, the insecticidal properties of DDT were not discovered until 1939, the outbreak of WWII in Europe. DDT was a boon to humanity when first used to kill vectors that spread human diseases. GIs welcomed "showers" of DDT to rid themselves of lice and other insects. When prisoner of war and concentration camps were liberated, the freed inmates were doused with DDT. By the early 1950s, British colonial doctors were using DDT to control the scourge of the tropics, malaria, as well as other insect-borne diseases, by spraying the inside of huts with this persistent chemical about once every six months. Malaria rates plummeted. It was an inexpensive way to control a disease that killed millions and left many of the survivors partially disabled whenever they suffered outbreaks. Unfortunately, like many good things, DDT was inappropriately used. Its very persistence made DDT inappropriate for indiscriminate use such as wide-spread spraying in agriculture. However,...(Read Full Post)