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The DDT was mostly for mosquitoes, not just cotton. The reason Savannah does not have malaria anymore is that it was purged of the mosquitoes that carry it by applications of large amounts of DDT many years ago.
by santiago on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 05:42:13 PM EST
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I assure you there are plenty of mosquitoes in south Georgia today. The DDT in question was applied in large quantities to croplands and has been held by the sediments beneath the river. The DDT is still there.
I wonder if you are thinking of savanna (no H) - a geographical feature. The City of Savannah never had a significant malarial epidemic that I can recall hearing about.
by Andhakari on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 02:12:36 AM EST
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There's a lot of mosquitoes.  Just not the species that carry malaria.  That's why the innovator of using DDT for mosquito control was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine.  Crop use came later and was used everywhere worldwide, not just in Georgia, before being banned.
by santiago on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 08:22:32 AM EST
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Are you suggesting that a particular mosquito was eradicated by DDT in the Savannah river valley, thereby minimizing the impact of malaria in that area? I find that assertion more than a little suspicious, and I would be interested in a link or other documentation.
DDT isn't species specific in its effect (unfortunately), and I would anticipate that any beneficial effects would also be short-lived.
by Andhakari on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 09:03:03 AM EST
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Yes, that is exactly what happened. That particular mosquito was eradicated in the US and other mosquitoes that were not eradicated now help prevent its re-emergence in the US through competition, along with other controls. The Swiss was awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering DDT's use as an insecticide for this purpose.
by santiago on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 09:10:20 AM EST
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Malaria - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Efforts to eradicate malaria by eliminating mosquitoes have been successful in some areas. Malaria was once common in the United States and southern Europe, but vector control programs, in conjunction with the monitoring and treatment of infected humans, eliminated it from those regions. In some areas, the draining of wetland breeding grounds and better sanitation were adequate. Malaria was eliminated from most parts of the USA in the early 20th century by such methods, and the use of the pesticide DDT and other means eliminated it from the remaining pockets in the South by 1951[60] (see National Malaria Eradication Program). In 2002, there were 1,059 cases of malaria reported in the US, including eight deaths, but in only five of those cases was the disease contracted in the United States.

See also:
Mosquito control - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Notwithstanding, DDT-resistant mosquitoes have started to increase in numbers, especially in tropics due to mutations, reducing the effectiveness of this chemical; these mutations can rapidly spread over vast areas if pesticides are applied indiscriminately (Chevillon et al. 1999).

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by A swedish kind of death on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 10:44:16 AM EST
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