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DDT and malaria

February 13, 2006 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 84, Issue 7

In his letter discussing the increased incidence of malaria in many countries after the 1972 ban on the use of DDT, Albert Conner states that little or no evidence exists that DDT-resistant strains of mosquitoes have developed since the ban went into effect (C&EN, Dec. 19, 2005, page 4). But why would mosquitoes have developed resistance in the absence of continued use of DDT? It would be more pertinent to consider if resistance would have developed had DDT not been banned.

Burton Kallman
Torrance, Calif.

Conner's old way of thinking gives all of us in the chemical profession a bad name. DDT may or may not have human health issues, but the environmental effects are significant. It has taken more than 30 years for recovery to begin here in the U.S. Should these countries mentioned go down the same path, given what is known about these pesticides? I should hope not.

We cannot go back. We must be forward thinking and solve this problem. H.R. 3057 should not include DDT and DDE as components in the arsenal against malaria. Despite the low initial costs, the future costs are too high.

Oliver ( Jay) Toigo III
Churchville, Pa.


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