DDT ban

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The DDT ban campaign was based on the argument that DDT accumulates in fatty tissues and rises in the food chain.

However, its effectiveness in fighting malaria far outweighs any hazards from proper indoor use to kill disease-bearing mosquitoes.

Although not toxic in small amounts it was found that DDT accumulated in bodies through the food chain so that it had an adverse effect on bird-life, particularly raptors. [1] [2] In 1962, naturalist Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, a bestselling book that campaigned for the regulated use of DDT. However, public sentiment escalated into calling for an outright ban of DDT and other synthetic pesticides.

In 1970, DDT was banned in Norway and Sweden. The U.S. banned it in 1972, and the UK in 1984. Most developed countries have banned its use but it is still used for disease control in some tropical countries where no other methods exist. The quantities required for public welfare are a small fraction of the amount previously used for agricultural purposes.

In 2001, 98 countries ratified the Stockholm Convention, which calls for the elimination of DDT and other persistent organic chemicals after May 17, 2004, except for emergency health crises. However, in the absence of a suitable replacement, DDT is still allowed for disease vector control.

References

  1. http://www.eelsinc.org/id62.html
  2. http://www.fws.gov/endangered/i/b/msab0h.html
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