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Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane - Article Example

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Running head: DDT DDT Student DDT According to research and studies malaria is grouped among the most dangerous killer diseases especially in developing countries. For instance, in Sub-Saharan Africa alone about 800,000 individuals (mostly children) succumb to the wrath of Malaria with a child losing their life every 30 seconds…
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Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane
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Download file to see previous pages It is evident that the effect of DDT as an indoor residual insecticide (IRS) lasts longer i.e. for approximately 6 to 12 months unlike other insecticides used to control malaria vectors whose effect lasts for only 2 to 6 months. In addition, other disease causing vectors are repelled by DDT thus forced to migrate to other locations (Atkinson, 2009). Once DDT is absorbed into the body of insects and pesticides it immediately destroys them by affecting their nervous system. DDT inhibits the neurons where it opens up sodium ion channels. This causes the channels to fire up spontaneously leading to death of the affected pest or insect. DDT also acts on the shells of mosquito eggs thinning them to the extent of destroying the life of the pupa. This is because DDT manages to impair the shell glands that are supposed to excrete calcium carbonate to aid in the development of the egg (Hayes, 2010). Therefore, DDT provides a simple and sustainable pest control strategy that is suitable for most of the mosquito prone regions. However, due to health and environmental concerns brought forth by the use of DDT, this chemical should only be used with extreme caution to ensure all the stipulated requirements are followed and there is no other safer and affordable means that can be used. This is because the prolonged use of DDT causes environmental degradation, infertility, breast cancer, genital birth defects, brain damages and diabetes. DDT is quite stable and thus does not degrade that easily. In fact, it has the ability of remaining active for decades. On the other hand, it is not soluble in water therefore it is not washed away easily from the soil. These two facts are the core reasons for the development of the myriad controversies surrounding DDT in regards to its safety towards health of human beings, plants and animals and the safety and sustainability of the environment. As a result, it has raised a paradigm because it is not ethical to let people die from malaria and yet the effect of malaria can be curtailed by the use of DDT. On the other side, it is also not ethical to continue supporting the prolonged use of DDT since it poses a risk to the human population and the environment (Hayes, 2010). Unfortunately, the volume of sprayed DDT in households is gradually increasing to alarming rates. In fact, quite scary results were revealed according to a conducted study in the volume of semen and sperm count in males living in households that use DDT. The sperm count and semen volume of the male with high levels of DDT in their blood were extremely low when compared to others. Moreover, DDT is absorbed into body tissues and can even be transferred to infants through breast milk. In addition, DDT has a stable chemical structure thus making it possible for the chemical to stay in the environment for decades without degrading. These facts are supported by the adverse results that DDT had in America when it was sprayed to control the spread of mosquitoes and crop pests. Its effects nearly wiped out all the pelican and bald eagles (Atkinson, 2009). However, in most of the developing countries other alternatives of controlling mosquito vectors including the use of bed nets that have been treated with insecticides and use of anti-malaria drugs are not as effective as the use of DDT. This is in contrast to most developed countries where the DDT alternatives are relatively effective. This is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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