WHO to promote DDT in fight against malaria
The influential World Health Organization plans to promote DDT as an inexpensive and effective tool against malaria. And the US government has boosted its budget twenty-fold for malarial insecticide spraying in Africa , to $20 million next year.
The new push for household spraying reflects a growing belief in some quarters that significant progress on malaria will require a third major front, alongside insecticide-treated bed nets and novel anti-malarial drugs.
No one proposes a return to the widespread agricultural use that decades ago severely harmed ecosystems in the United States and Europe. The results of such spraying were depicted in Rachel Carson's landmark 1962 book ``Silent Spring," which launched the modern environmental movement.
Advocates of household spraying say the comparatively minute amounts used in homes pose no known dangers. Any potential risk, they say, is far outweighed by DDT's potency against malaria, as was seen in the late 1940s and '50s when it helped eradicate the disease in the United States and other industrialized nations.
But environmental groups, while recognizing DDT's public health benefits, argue the chemical should be only a temporary measure. Greenpeace worries some inevitably will be diverted to farming uses and asserts that long term health effects on humans are still not known conclusively.
read more at: The Boston Globe http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/08/30/ddt_re_emphasized_in_malaria_fight/
source: UN WIRE