Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, commonly known as DDT, was discovered in 1874. However, its chemicals properties were not used until 1936 at the beginning of WWII. Originally, it was thought that DDT was the solution for all the problems in regard to pest problems and tropical diseases. Contrarily, it was quickly discovered that this was not the case. DDT was used worldwide in the onslaught against the deadly mosquito (falciparum) that carries malaria. Malaria, which has been considered one of the largest pandemics, has affected half of the world’s population by spreading through the mosquito’s saliva. In 1972, the United States, which was one of the countries that had been using DDT in their crops, warfare, and even for malaria control at the time, decided to ban DDT due to the significant health risk that this presented to the human population. As a matter of fact, DDT was banned from many other countries by following the United States. Nevertheless, impoverished countries still used DDT for indoor spraying as a way to combat malaria. Indoor spraying for DDT has many unwanted secondary effects. Consequently, it presents a threat to human and environment when not used responsibly. However, it is still useful in many underdeveloped countries as a way to control and fight against malaria and in many cases it outweighs the risks involved. The major concern for many experts, who have been studying the uses of DDT and its impact on human population, has to do with the adverse health implications of using the chemical. Some of negative health effects include breast cancer, miscarriage, genital birth defect, diabetic, brain development, reduction of sperm count, fertility, nervous system and liver damage. Scientists strongly recommend that the amount of DDT used to control malaria has to be greatly reduced in those countries that still utilized the pesticide. In the same matter, the article “Should DDT Used to Combat Malaria?,” by Marla Cone and Environmental Health News, stressed that DDT should be only used as last resort to fight malaria. These concerns have had a heavy weight in the public opinion of every country and society involved around how and when to use DDT. Nonetheless, the fact is that a child dies every thirty seconds because of malaria. Malaria is responsible for the death of 880,000 people a year around the world. In addition, there are many impoverished countries, in which more than 80 percentage of the world’s population still lives in poverty, and cannot afford another sustainable way to fight against the deadly diseases in our modern age. For instance, South Africa has reduced the number of the death toll from malaria with the combination of indoor spraying of DDT and prevention work done by the government. The article “Malaria Control,” by Bette Hileman, reported on the reduction of the fatality numbers from “458 in 200 to 89 in 2006,” and a total “500 million, ” people saved by using the pesticide. It is true that indoor spraying of DDT has some health risks that people had faced in the past and would continue facing in the future. However, malaria presents an even bigger problem for many countries and consequently for their people. Due to the fact that the situations are different, every country has to act accordingly to their needs, limitations and resources. Such is the case that indoor spraying for one country may be a viable option. In contrast, it may not be the case for another one. Furthermore, another concern expressed has been the impact on the environment when DDT is used. In the 1960s, there were studies done showing a link between using DDT in farming and the decrease of reproduction cycles of eagles, hawks and many other species. It has been shown that DDT has an affect on bugs, soils, plants, and grass because it stays longer in the surrounding areas on which it is sprayed. As a result, the food chain for all living organisms was greatly affected by it. Since, DDT has a much known
- 2. What is/ are the etiology (-ies) of Malaria?
Malaria is caused by a bite from a female Anopheles mosquito infected with plasmodium spp. There are 172 species that can infect birds, reptiles, and humans. Only five species of Plasmodium parasites can cause disease in humans. These are Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium malriae, and Plasmodium knowleski (uncommon).
- How is the disease transmitted and what are the major clinical signs?
A.P. Environmental Science Syllabus
General scope and sequence for the course
|Unit |Topic |Relevant Text Chapters |
|1 |Sound Science, Stewardship and Sustainability |1, 22 |
|2 |Ecosystems and Biogeochemical Cycles |2, 3, 4…