Talk:Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane

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History[edit]

The article mentions that DDT was first synthesized in 1874, but no link is given to cite a source.

I was recently at university and noted down that DDT was first synthesized in 1875. Perhaps I made a mistake, but at any rate, could a source be provided when it was first synthesized? (I forgot to note down in which book I read it, so I have to find this again ... ) 194.166.239.186 (talk) 20:35, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

The 1948 Nobel Committee biography of Paul Muller said DDT was first formulated in 1873. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1948/muller-bio.html

The 1963 report to President Kennedy, "Use of Pesticides," has been reprinted at Millard Fillmore's Bathtub (my blog), and is also available in .pdf form; a citation to one of these sources might be good. http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/use-of-pesticides-report-of-the-presidents-science-advisory-committee-may-15-1963/ http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKPOF-087-003.aspx Edarrell (talk) 22:04, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Cancer?[edit]

Am I correct in saying that after four decades of intense study, there is no definitive evidence linking ddt to cancer? If so, why does this this article not mention that tidbit?

Also, on the subject of cancer, the following excerpt is from an article on the subject that I stumbled across:

"To bolster her case for the dangers of DDT, Carson improperly cited cases of acute exposures to the chemical as proof of its cancer-causing ability. For example, she told the story of a woman who sprayed DDT for spiders in her basement and died a month later of leukemia. In another case, a man sprayed his office for cockroaches and a few days later was diagnosed with aplastic anemia."

She also appeared to have tried to specifically link it to childhood cancer: "A quarter century ago, cancer in children was considered a medical rarity. Today, more American school children die of cancer than from any other disease"

Which sounds like Carson was pretty clearly attempting to establish a casual link between DDT and cancer. Given that cancer rates were and are essentially flat, this seems unlikely. Any comment from someone more knowledgeable than I? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 131.158.223.4 (talk) 15:57, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

No, it would not be correct to say DDT is not linked to cancer. 1. DDT is listed as a "probable human carcinogen" by the American Cancer Society and all its sister groups internationally, and by the EPA on its registry of carcinogens. This is an overly conservative listing. 2. DDT has been shown to be a mammal carcinogen, and humans are mammals. If DDT is not carcinogenic in humans, it is the ONLY substance known to be a mammal carcinogen that is not also a human carcinogen. But, 3. DDT is not a strong carcinogen, and most of the time, worries about cancer are probably best thought of in relation to repeated exposures to other carcinogens. 4. Year after year, evidence has mounted. Best evidence now suggests that DDT plays a role in breast cancers of women who were exposed in utero or shortly after birth, whose mothers were exposed to DDT. That's a long chain, but it's still a chain.
The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR), the agency charged with tracking toxic chemicals, summarizes DDT and carcinogenicity in this way [2] :
How likely are DDT, DDE, and DDD to cause cancer?
Studies in DDT-exposed workers did not show increases in cancer. Studies in animals given DDT with the food have shown that DDT can cause liver cancer.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) determined that DDT may reasonable be anticipated to be a human carcinogen. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined that DDT may possibly cause cancer in humans. The EPA determined that DDT, DDE, and DDD are probable human carcinogens.
Re "cancer rates were and are essentially flat." That is incorrect. Cancer *death* rates in industrialized nations are essentially flat. But the mean age at which people first contract cancer continues a steady march downward whilist the proportion of the population contracting cancer increases. Those facts are generally suspected of reflecting improved methods of prolonging the lives of people who contract cancer whilst the causes of cancer are becoming more pervasive. Marbux (talk) 12:00, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
The excerpt from the uncited article gives the information from Silent Spring wholly out of context. DDT was not the sole topic of the book. Carson warned against expanding entire families of chemicals into widespread use without knowing their full effects. On pages 221 and 222 (from which the quote on childhood cancers is taken) she discussed childhood cancers without any reference to DDT in a chapter on cancer, generally. In the two cases of leukemia, Carson properly cited the cases to sources at the Mayo Clinic (see pages 227 and 228, and look at the notes on the chapter). In neither case did Carson say DDT was the sole cause, nor did she say that the cases could be directly tied to incidents, though the medical histories indicated symptoms arising in conjunction with the use of chemicals. I would hesitate to second guess the medical authorities in the cases, as the source in the magazine article did. The President's Science Advisory Council did not question her sources [3]; what authority did the article cite?

99.6.17.40 (talk) 06:08, 24 December 2011 (UTC) Not sure why my signature does not show in the answer to Anonymous. Edarrell (talk) 06:10, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

DDT indeed is listed as a probable carcinogen and thats where scientists limit their conclusions. In scientific literature there are indications to immunosupression caused by higher level of DDT in fatty tissues of mammals, and there are suggestions that this makes them susceptible to various diseases. Thus, indirectly DDT has been linked with viral diseases too. To be more specific, if there is any ecotoxicological study showing direct link between cancer and DDT exposure, then it would be good to cite. Angel670 talk 15:47, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm calling BS. "Probable" is also the link given for EMF to cancer. Good luck changing Electromagnetic hypersensitivity to say that. There are NO conclusive results nor examples of humans with cancer as a result of DDT exposure, and that is what this article should state. It should mention J Gordon Edwards, who ate a spoonful of PURE DDT for several years, to no ill effect. He died in 2004 of a heart attack while mountain climbing. Rachel Carson is as radical a source as this guy, just the mainstream media got better exposure highlighting the cataclysmic destruction of bird eggs (despite the fact that the Eagle population exploded following the crackdown on hunting post-WWII... which ironically coincided with the years of heaviest DDT usage in the United States). - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 16:28, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Here's the chart too, from the National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count, which has counted populations since 1900. Just one example, but you can find plenty by searching Bald Eagle Population by year.

[4]

Funny how they were gone before DDT was invented, and re-established before it was banned. Lead bullets? Game laws introduced in 1941? Or was it the DDT banning in the 70s that gave them that population surge throughout the 50s? - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 16:35, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

American Cancer Society puts DDT on the "probable human carcinogen" list, too. If you have research that calls "bovine excrement," please cite -- otherwise, current listing is what the science says. Edarrell (talk) 22:22, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Well, scientific articles like this will definitely cause disputes, although the article itself is very well sourced indeed. I guess it would be good we help by providing sources for improvement of some parts of it rather than disqualify the whole work. At the end of the day, DDT has an insecticidal effect and it has been listed in Stockholm Convention after joint resolution by leading worldwide research centres. I wouldn't fall into another extreme, that if DDTs direct link to cancer is not proven - then its safe. Not at all. Probably Edwards used tiny tea-spoons when testing it on his own organism, otherwise, we know everything in excess is poison :-) Angel670 talk 01:24, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
No, but we should be neutrally providing the benefits - that this was pretty damn close to wiping out malaria, and it still can prevent millions of deaths due to mosquito-born infections/diseases - as well as the cons - that it inhibits the breeding cycles of fish and is a potential carcinogen (with no known cases). The bald Eagle stuff is a bunch of propoganda from Mrs. Carson; their populations increased during the years of heavist DDT usage. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 17:09, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Bacon is also a "probable" carcinogen. The missing detail is some quantification of risk. "X level of DDT exposure increases risk of Y cancer by Z%, from A to B. Too sciency? Lfstevens (talk) 07:48, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

Low quality article[edit]

This is a seriously disappointing Wiki page - it appears to have been hijacked by an ardent environmentalist - not at all the cut and dry facts-based piece I had hoped to find.

The 'criticism' section is especially painful to read - clearly not written by an actual critic.

Too much conjecture and personal opinion - and once you start to dig into references you can see that the vague relationships the studies point out are reported (in the Wiki page) as clear cut across-the-board validation of the wickedness of DDT.

Doesn't seem to be any point in editing - the above mentioned hijacker will undoubtedly go in and revert.

I assume this note will quickly be "archived".

Thomas (talk) 15:16, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

I have to agree with Thomas, DDT received bad press and bad science, not facts. This artical is very slanted and basicly not really true in my opinion from what I can learn on the subject. Banning DDT killed(s) many people that did not need to die. The science on the egg shells has never tested true. Why not really test DDT and see if it really is the devils brew as claimed by people without a science degree. Just my thoughts, test it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scottdp3 (talkcontribs) 21:12, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

This article constitutes fraud. DDT is environmentally inert and that has been proven over and over again. The hysteria surrounding "Silent Spring" is the ONLY reason this miracle compound was banned. The WHO has quietly reinstated its use in sub-Saharan Africa and South America to stop the slaughter of innocents that the ban (which initiated in the US) began. DDT wiped out malaria. It did not exist in 1970. It's ban is pure evil. And this page needs to be fundamentally changed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DDTisgood (talkcontribs) 00:08, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Provide peer-reviewed references for your statements, if you can. --Leyo 23:50, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

I agree with Thomas. The article never mentions the fraud in the reduced calcium diet fed to birds along with DDT, the uproar, and the revised experiment with the normal amount of calcium, nor the refusal of Science to make the correction. There are so many other errors of omission that I wouldn't know where to start to fix this mess. RichSD (talk) 20:23, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

POV / Bias[edit]

J Gordon Edwards at pure DDT for several months without any ill effects... Should this article not mention the studies that have covered this as well as Edwards own work? This article is very pro-environmentalism biased. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 19:57, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

As per this and the above Cancer section, I am marking this article with a neutrality tag. If I wanted to read a summary of Rachel Carson's book, I'd go to the library. I want an article that examines DDT from both the perspective that it can cause environmental damage, as well as from the perspective that it is the best weapon against malaria and can prevent the death of millions if environmentalists didn't blockade nations that produce it to not ship it to nations that want it because they know best. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 16:44, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

My father smoked cigarettes for over 20+ years without any ill effects. What's your point? — ThePowerofX 12:09, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

Anecdotal evidence means nothing to me. This person was rigorously tested as they did this. I'm sure your father experienced many ill effects as a result of his 20 years of inhaling hot smoke; the least of which would be coughing up nasty plegm every morning. This article is biased to environmentalism and Rachel Carson, and includes no mention of the millions of people dying from preventable Malaria every year in Africa, Asia and South America, and so the POV tag remains. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 14:49, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
His work was published in 21st Century Science and Technology, a publication associated with Lyndon LaRouche's Fusion Energy Foundation. Way out on the fringe. — ThePowerofX 15:25, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm not concerned with his published work, I know he is very much the opposite POV of Rachel Carson. However, he did this physical experiment on a daily basis in front of professors and in lecture halls, auditoriums, etc. Irregardless of his POV, he is still very relevant to this topic and his account is noteworthy and well publicized. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 15:43, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
His account is no more noteworthy than my Dad's. We can summarise your objection thusly:
  • "J Gordon Edwards at[e] pure DDT for several months without any ill effects..."
  • "...if I wanted to read a summary of Rachel Carson's book, I'd go to the library..."
  • "...this article is very pro-environmentalism biased..."
  • "...and so the POV tag remains..."
Do you have anything solid? — ThePowerofX 16:25, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
  • DDT is an effective combatant of Malaria, and several million people die of mosquito-born Malaria every year.[5] The WHO has recommended its use in Africa as a tool against the disease, to deaf ears.[6].
  • The article uses a heavily biased source to make a correlation between DDT and Bald Eagle Population. In reality, Bald Eagle population rose steadily in the United States during the heaviest years of DDT usage (from 1945 until its US banning in 1972)[7]. The more likely contributing factor is the Bald Eagle Act, 1940; the point when they began to recover.
  • The article makes no mention of how environmentalists in the United States blockade the shipment of DDT from Mexico (where it is produced) to Africa.[8] Its nice that we care about birds and all, but how about the dying people?
-- ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 22:19, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

Malaria death rates, and infection rates, and totals, continue to drop, mostly without DDT. Malaria deaths in 2010 and 2011 were under 800,000 per year, perhaps the lowest in human history. Blog post: http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/world-malaria-report-2012-malaria-still-declining-but-more-resources-needed-fast/ World Health Organization annual report on malaria: http://www.who.int/malaria/publications/world_malaria_report_2012/en/ Edarrell (talk) 22:22, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

  • Dammit, I caught malaria last Spring in Kenya in an area that wasn't supposed to have it. Fact is, malaria was virtually wiped out in 1970, made a massive comeback after DDT was banned, and has now been in decline with the use of mosquito nets and rapid treatment. There is more malaria today than there was in 1970 when DDT was effectively banned. Count all the facts, DDT was the second most effective anti-malarial artefact, after window screens. Why don't they have window screens in this country??? Cadwallader (talk) 18:50, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Actually, the article mentions DDT usage in vector control. I think it highlights all positive and negative aspects of its usage. You may want to cut off or amend the part of Silent Spring, if that makes sense or brings neutrality, or change the part re bald eagle if you have strong sources. Its notable, that most of studies were focused on birds of prey.
Regarding Edwards eating DDT every day, my comment would be: 1) we dont know what was the content of DDT active ingredient in the formulation he consumed every day. Most probably the content of proper DDT there was ~5% only, according to standard formulation. So, in 5-gramms spoon only 0.25g would be the DDT proper. The rest of what he called "DDT" would be the talc, or any other adsorbent; 2) Taking the oral doses of ~0.25g DDT does not mean it stayed in his organism. So, as any other chemical taken orally it will most probably cause temporary effect (here again, depending on mass of his body) and discharged with excrements and urine within a short time. Bioaccumulation would have required longer time and had remote effects; 3) Edwards experiment didn't find any serious support or attention of the scientists, and is still a questionable case unknown to many. I hope this helps. Angel670 talk 01:56, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
It's pure environmental nonsense is what it is. There are plenty of bird counts that completely contradict the assertions of this article, but I'm sure a bunch of pseudo-scientific papers back up Silent Spring. What prevails? A bunch of scientific literature and their hypothesis, or raw data that paints a pretty clear picture on this facet of the chemical (re: killing of eagles / birds of prey, thinning eggshells). Clearly no change in the net annual population gain (consistent since the early 1940s) means no effect or a negligible effect can be attributed to the policy change that took place over 30 years after the population gain began.
Wikipedia has a strong pro-environmental movement / man-made climate change bias in many articles and I'd rather let someone else make the changes sooner than making them myself lest the drama unfold. However, I will restore the neutrality tag if it removed again without these issues being addressed. - Floydian τ ¢ 00:22, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Neutrality tag[edit]

So, there's been a neutrality tag on the article for several months now, and I'm having trouble seeing what the issue is. Floydian says that the article is pro-environmentalist without giving specific examples. Angel670 disagrees. The IP says the article is biased in the other direction and doesn't like the Criticism of Restrictions section. MeUser disagrees, saying that DDT is harmless, and that the article should say that. For those who think the article is pro-environmentalist, consider reading the Criticism section. Note how the Crichton quote is so prominently displayed: the one that says, "Banning DDT killed more people than Hitler." Also note how it doesn't say that Rachel Carson was right. For those who think the article is biased in the other direction, consider how it presents the research that has been done, again, taking no stance on who's right. Yes, it's a controversial subject, and yes people disagree on it. To be NPOV, the article should present both points of view. Just because somebody disagrees with one of the points of view presented doesn't mean we should have an ugly POV tag languishing indefinitely at the top of the article. Tags are for improvement–not to bias readers against anything the article might say. Unless you have specific recommendations for improvement, the tag should come down. ~Adjwilley (talk) 16:53, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Looks like we cross-posted - sorry about that. What issues exactly? You're saying somebody needs to go track down papers that contradict the findings in Silent Spring because it's clearly wrong...but you're not going to do it. ~Adjwilley (talk) 17:00, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
I provided plenty of sources above, its a question of whether anybody without the global warming bug has the guts to try and balance the article using those sources and perhaps similar sources that can be found quite easily. The Christmas bird count (the official count for the US) is raw data that directly contradicts the opinions provided in Silent Spring. There are the points I made above regarding the lack of mention of the environmental blockade of this chemical by people who think they're doing the right thing. - Floydian τ ¢ 20:51, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Ok, I think I see where you're talking about, although it looks like Angel1670 responded to some of your concerns back in April. Let me see if I can respond to them as well.
  • DDT is an effective combatant of Malaria, and several million people die of mosquito-born Malaria every year.[9] The WHO has recommended its use in Africa as a tool against the disease, to deaf ears.[10].
As Angel1670 and I pointed out, the article discusses this criticism already. (See the quote about banning DDT killing more people than Hitler.) Nevertheless, I have added a sentence to the article summarizing the Washing Post article.
  • The article uses a heavily biased source to make a correlation between DDT and Bald Eagle Population. In reality, Bald Eagle population rose steadily in the United States during the heaviest years of DDT usage (from 1945 until its US banning in 1972)[11]. The more likely contributing factor is the Bald Eagle Act, 1940; the point when they began to recover.
The source you provided just generates graphs of bird counts. Using that source by itself would be original research. Can you provide a secondary peer-reviewed source to back up your claim? Note: the NYTimes source you provided below also says that it "killed bald eagles because of its persistence in the environment".
  • The article makes no mention of how environmentalists in the United States blockade the shipment of DDT from Mexico (where it is produced) to Africa.[12] Its nice that we care about birds and all, but how about the dying people?
So far as I can tell, neither does your source. I can't find anything saying environmentalists in the US block shipments from Mexico to Africa. All I can find is that Mexico was obliged to stop using DDT because of a trade agreement.
Do you have any more objections? ~Adjwilley (talk) 00:12, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
It looks like User:0x539 has re-added the tag to the article. I'd invite them to specify precisely which parts of the article are POV and need fixing. ~Adjwilley (talk) 01:45, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
Tagged the eggshell thinning section with POV-section. See http://junkscience.com/1999/07/26/100-things-you-should-know-about-ddt, specifically points 40 and 41. This section clearly asserts that DDT at levels used in the environment causes eggshell thinning, which is a reasonably contested idea (ie. not fringe) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.74.172.39 (talk) 20:46, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

Criticisms of Restrictions on DDT Use[edit]

Blatant POV pushing. How has this section survived as-is? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.161.147.94 (talk) 04:26, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

And the remainder of the article claiming that it killed the Eagle population and is deadly is not? That Rachel Carson is the end all be all of scientific knowledge even though her evidence is anecdotal at best? If anything, the POV in this section helps balance the entire article, which, like most of wikipedia, takes the "we're going to poison our world in 15 years" extremist panic point of view. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 16:18, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
This article is grossly biased. DDT has been proven very much harmless, and it's ban as very much harmfull and deadly. This is one of the most important things to know on DDT, but it's no where to be found here. --MeUser42 (talk) 20:13, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

I agree. This article is extremely biased. Instead of giving air time to legitimate criticism, it spends the entire "criticism" section trying to debunk the criticism. I wonder who funds the people who keep this article so biased. 208.102.214.243 (talk) 04:48, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

This article could benefit from references to research, especially to research that backs conclusions offered by Rachel Carson in Silent Spring. On an argumentative note, I observe that in her 53 pages of citations to research papers and correspondence with scientists, we find not a single example of science that has been walked back, retracted, nor subsequently found to be faulty by subsequent research.

Some sources that should be cited here: 1. "Use of Pesticides," the 1963 report of the President's Science Advisory Council, that affirmed the accuracy of Silent Spring and called for immediate action to phase out DDT use across the federal government. .pdf at the Kennedy Library here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKPOF-087-003.aspx Full text searchable, here: https://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/use-of-pesticides-report-of-the-presidents-science-advisory-committee-may-15-1963/ 2. Mrak Commission report to HEW on 19 pesticides, 1969. Dr. Emeril Mrak led the report group. It is referenced heavily in this law review article: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1121308?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents 3. Hilton Commission Report to EPA, 1971. Recommended phase out of DDT, except keeping it available to fight vector diseases (like malaria) until substitutes are found. Full text: http://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyNET.exe/91012N2Q.txt?ZyActionD=ZyDocument&Client=EPA&Index=Prior%20to%201976&Docs=&Query=&Time=&EndTime=&SearchMethod=1&TocRestrict=n&Toc=&TocEntry=&QField=&QFieldYear=&QFieldMonth=&QFieldDay=&UseQField=&IntQFieldOp=0&ExtQFieldOp=0&XmlQuery=&File=D%3A\ZYFILES\INDEX%20DATA\70THRU75\TXT18\91012N2Q.txt&User=ANONYMOUS&Password=anonymous&SortMethod=h%7C-&MaximumDocuments=1&FuzzyDegree=0&ImageQuality=r75g8/r75g8/x150y150g16/i425&Display=p%7Cf&DefSeekPage=x&SearchBack=ZyActionL&Back=ZyActionS&BackDesc=Results%20page&MaximumPages=1&ZyEntry=1&SeekPage=x 4. Hearing Examiners Recommended Findings, Conclusions, and Orders, April 25, 1972 (PDF); this is the report and order issued by EPA Administrative Law Judge Edmund Sweeney, following several months of hearings on the legality of the labeling of DDT. Full text: http://www.somesnarksareboojums.com/blog/wp-content/images/ddt/Sweeney.pdf

Additionally, it might be good to reference the authoritative, peer-review summary of DDT's effects on human health, from the Pine River Conference at Alma College, Michigan: In Environmental Health Perspectives: http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/11748/

All of these reports confirm problems with DDT, especially destruction of wildlife. Each is rather definitive for its time. Edarrell (talk) 20:49, 12 May 2016 (UTC)

right wing propaganda[edit]

Interesting that someone here thinks this was written by an "environmentalist" since it uses misleading verbiage that appears to have been lifted directly from Rush Limbaugh's radio show. Example: "DDT was banned in the USA" is weasel-wording designed to push an agenda. The 1972 EPA "de-registering" of DDT did not actually ban production of DDT in the USA, and before 1984 there was no legal way to prevent private sales of DDT. Yes, it's true that since 1972 it is illegal to use without EPA permission in many specific applications - such as indiscriminate agricultural spraying, where it has been shown to quickly cause DDT-resistance in insects (which in turn causes failure of DDT-based anti-malarial programs) and since 1984 production and sales of deregistered agricultural chemicals is also legally limited. Even so, the EPA can grant permission to use DDT when more effective alternatives are not available - for example during the Douglas-fir tussock moth epidemic in the Northwest US in 1974.

But chemical industry astroturf groups and right wing political activists who wish to give greater legal rights and protections to corporations have seized on DDT as a cause celebre to show how "liberals" and "greens" hate technology and by extension hate both Progress and America. They encourage fetishization of DDT in the third world in order to support their agenda, and they encourage religious beliefs that include denial of evolution in order to discount scientific studies that prove overuse of DDT has caused DDT-resistant insects to evolve.

In truth, DDT stopped being used because of its effects on birds, its persistence in the food chain, and because it stopped working due to overuse. By the time of the 1972 ban, DDT production was already down to a tiny fraction of its peak, and more effective pesticides (some with equally controversial characteristics) were already on the market. The EPA based their decision on "the absence of benefits of DDT in relation to the availability of effective and less environmentally harmful substitutes" as well as environmental concerns. The effective date of the prohibition was delayed for six months in order to permit an orderly transition to substitute pesticides, and until recently this was considered a generally sensible approach to dealing with an increasingly ineffective pesticide that accumulates in the food chain.

The "NPOV" and "Citation" policies are easily subverted, just do what this article does and cite vanity works of lunatic fringe political groups or factually incorrect publications of far-right pundits. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 205.153.180.229 (talk) 16:11, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Rachel Carson's book was scientifically sound, provide 53 pages of citations to science studies, none of which have ever been retracted nor, that I can find, rebutted. Subsequent research confirmed the findings of studies she cited. First scientific backing for Carson: http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/use-of-pesticides-report-of-the-presidents-science-advisory-committee-may-15-1963/

If citation is given to the Audubon bird counts, the references should agree with Audubon Society analysis of the counts. I have searched Audubon Magazine from 1941 through 1972, and I do not find any articles saying eagles were recovering. Perhaps I missed the article. Citing raw count numbers from Audubon runs into statistical error: More counters are available each year, and so, if there were two counters in one spot this year, and four in that same spot the next year, and on both occasions 1 eagle was spotted, the raw count numbers would double.

It's easy to see how count numbers could be misleading, and so we should cite the conclusions drawn from analysis of the numbers.

Additionally, 2012 saw the publication of a major biographical work on Carson during her later writing career, William Souder's On a Farther Shore. Citations there would be good, as would citations to Linda Lear's work, and more serious citations to the Pine River Statement.

Descriptions of Souder's book, and links to reviews and discussion, here (my blog, I warn you): http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/rachel-carson-biography-on-a-farther-shore-one-of-best-books-of-2012/

Edarrell (talk) 22:22, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

" Example: "DDT was banned in the USA" is weasel-wording designed to push an agenda. " Actually, you're being misleading. When people say something is banned (or hear that said), it usually means that the use of that something is illegal in all but the most restricted ways and has nothing to do with production. For instance, no one would be mislead by saying that guided missiles are banned in the United States despite the fact that many are actually produced here. Its not misleading because the constuction and use of guided missiles is illegal in all but the rarest circumstances(eg military contractors with licenses to produce them).

Also, this article is clearly biased no matter how many times you make strawman arguments about Rush Limbaugh. There was more behind the ban than genuine concern over the environment and health since there are far better campaigns that could have been done. DDT made suburban life better by getting rid of bugs and people who live in concrete jungles(like you I'm assuming) don't like losing political and economic power to the suburbs.71.217.215.99 (talk) 02:53, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Criticism of restrictions on DDT use - Section Contents[edit]

It is very interesting that the section on "Criticism" actually contains much less criticism than response to such. Come on, the whole article is about how bad DDT is -- at least, leave the Criticism section to cover the view of the DDT proponets? -- No way, we will call the section "Criticism" but instead use the better part of it to emphasize our (writers') point. But nobody can say we did not include the "criticism". Very hypocritical, and very predictible. Another good example of a propaganda article. 174.88.49.151 (talk) 00:28, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Criticism of Human exposure[edit]

What does "several orders of magnitude greater" mean? It could mean 30 or 1000000. It's true but it's meaningless at the same time. Give us the raw numbers. 50-100 times, 3-10 thousand times, or whatever. Tell us please, we can take it, as bad as it could be. 70.82.60.178 (talk) 01:10, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

That's pretty much a direct quote from the cited reference, which cites a further study (both are openly available) for the South African numbers. From a quick look at both I'm willing to guess that the difference is one to two magnitudes, but the numbers are highly variable, with standard deviations roughly equal to the mean. My statistics are not up to the task of really judging these numbers. Dbeierl (talk) 16:48, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Seems like qualifying the statement in quotes (e.g. '...levels that are "several orders of magnitude greater" than...') is a simple solution to indicating the vagueness originates from the source, not the article. Kobnar (talk) 07:40, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

US-bias[edit]

DDT was used all over the world, therefore making the final sentence of the first paragraph, about the USA, decidedly unencyclopedic. --79.52.84.235 (talk) 19:10, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

The US ban was a major factor in the global debate around DDT. JQ (talk) 04:05, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Edits of October 19[edit]

@99.27.104.103: Please review WP:BRD and WP:3RR. You have deleted material from this article, and upon being reverted, you have reverted it a second time. Your next reversion is #3, which normally leads to an automatic blocking of your account. The material you have attempted to add is poorly sourced, and you have attempted to edit war it into place, which is not how things are done here.

Here are the problems with your edits.

1) The original text states: "n the summer of 1972, Ruckelshaus announced the cancellation of most uses of DDT – an exemption allowed for public health uses under some conditions.<-ref name=EPA1975/> Immediately after the cancellation was announced, both EDF and the DDT manufacturers filed suit against the EPA, with the industry seeking to overturn the ban, and EDF seeking a comprehensive ban. The cases were consolidated, and in 1973 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the EPA had acted properly in banning DDT.<-ref name=EPA1975/>

This is relevant, pertitent, and notable information that is properly sourced according to WP:RS. Removing it gives the impression that the EPA did not act, which is obviously not the case. Please provide an explanation for why you want to remove it.

2)You have added "The hearings produced a 113-page decision, in which Hearing Examiner Edmund Sweeney wrote: “DDT is not a carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic hazard to man. The usesunder regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on fresh water fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds, or other wildlife…and…there is a present need for essential uses of DDT.”

The source for this latter statement is a Journal entitled "The Journal of American Association of Physicians and Surgeons", a non-peer reviewed journal published by an activist group that is not a reliable source for health related content. Formerly 98 (talk) 03:15, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

You are mistaken on several counts. If you will take a closer look at my edit, I deleted no material whatsoever. I simply added relevant material to the paragraph in question. You also ought to take more care in counting reverts. As far as the Journal of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons is concerned, they are simply quoting the decision of the EPA hearings, which is in the public domain. We could directly cite that decision instead, if you prefer. 99.27.104.103 (talk) 15:32, 20 October 2014 (UTC
"If you will take a closer look at my edit, I deleted no material whatsoever. I simply added relevant material to the paragraph in question."
I apologize. You are correct. Please find a better source for the EPA hearings. The AAPS reference is pretty much hearsay from an ideologically anti-government group.

The comment about the birth rate doubling was not intended to be snarky, it was intended to point out how unlikely this statement is a priori. As such it falls under the WP:RS criteria that "Reliable sources must be strong enough to support the claim. A lightweight source may sometimes be acceptable for a lightweight claim, but never for an extraordinary claim.". Since birth rate is health related, it also falls under WP:MEDRS, so you need a secondary source, not just some guy expressing an observation. Thanks Formerly 98 (talk) 16:07, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Formerly 98 (talk) 16:03, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Alexander King (scientist) is not simply "some guy." His comment is indeed an opinion, and it is relevant because it illustrates something important about the mindset of the opponents of DDT. 99.27.104.103 (talk) 16:27, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
You know, we're actually on the same side of this issue except for the sourcing. As for Dr. King, quoting his opinion is fine up to a point, beyond which the article develops a non-neutral POV. But even if he were a Nobel Laureate, you cannot use his "Dr. King said so" in a way to state or imply facts. You have to have a secondary source, because WP:MEDRS because its healthcare related. We can settle this here or we can go get an outside opinion. Which would you prefer?Formerly 98 (talk) 22:24, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
The King quote probably belongs somewhere in the "Criticism of restrictions on DDT use" section. DDT advocates have frequently cited it to demonstrate that the ban on DDT was motivated in part by Malthusian considerations -- i.e., that Malthusians believed that Malaria was performing a useful function, and DDT was impeding it. There are many secondary sources which comment on this. 99.27.104.103 (talk) 02:48, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

That's a pretty harsh conclusion. I certainly agree that western environmentalist groups have been pretty damn patronizing in lecturing Africans about the dangers of DDT after decades of ignoring 500K deaths per year from malaria, but I think I'd want to see some pretty black and white evidence before we put in here that people actually fought to ban DDT because they WANTED people to die.

We have a rule here called WP:NPOV which basically says that our articles don't attempt to tell the Truth (with a capital T), but merely to summarize the consensus opinion of experts in the field. Where there is controversy, the two (or more) sides are presented with space proportional to the prominence of their views among experts. I think the idea that people banned DDT because they wanted to kill people is held by a pretty small minority (its a theory I"ve never run across before), and I'm opposed to adding that to the article. Formerly 98 (talk) 04:10, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

A small minority, but a highly influential one, if you examine the history and membership of the Club of Rome. And they probably don't think of themselves as "killing people"; they would simply see themselves as allowing Nature to take its course in "regulating population growth," without interference from human do-gooders. 99.27.104.103 (talk) 14:30, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Unwarranted deletions[edit]

The following sourced items were deleted by "Formerly 98":

  • The hearings produced a 113-page decision, in which Hearing Examiner Edmund Sweeney wrote: “DDT is not a carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic hazard to man. The uses under regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on fresh water fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds, or other wildlife…and…there is a present need for essential uses of DDT.” <-ref>Edwards, Gordon, "DDT: A Case Study in Scientific Fraud", Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Fall 2004</ref>
  • In the summer of 1972, Ruckelshaus announced the cancellation of most uses of DDT – an exemption allowed for public health uses under some conditions.<-ref name=EPA1975/> He later wrote, in a letter to American Farm Bureau President Allan Grant, that “in such decisions the ultimate judgement remains political.”<-ref>W. Ruckelshaus, letter to American Farm Bureau President Allan Grant,April 26, 1979</ref>
  • Dr. Alexander King, co-founder of the Club of Rome, wrote in 1990: My own doubts came when DDT was introduced for civilian use. In Guyana, within two years it had almost eliminated malaria, but at the same time the birth rate had doubled. So my chief quarrel with DDT in hindsight is that it has greatly added to the population problem.<-ref>Groen, Janny, and Smit, Eefke, The Discipline of curiosity: science in the world, Elsevier Science, 1990, p. 43</ref>

These deletions were accompanied by snarky and confused edit summaries. In case the King quote seems ambiguous, I believe he is referring to an increased birth rate due to decreased rates of malaria-caused infant mortality. Excluding the relevant quotes from Ruckelshaus and the EPA hearings decision would appear to be a rather extreme form of POV-pushing. 99.27.104.103 (talk) 15:25, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

You may be unaware that the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is considered an unreliable source of plausible-looking articles. See our article on the lobby group Association of American Physicians and Surgeons for examples of their POV-driven nonsense.LeadSongDog come howl! 19:53, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Every object is a chemical: colloqialism[edit]

As of my writing, the opening section contains the phrase, "...the logic of releasing large amounts of chemicals into the environment..." If this article where not about a chemical, DDT, then the colloquial usage of "chemicals" would likely be unimportant. This is an article about a chemical, however, so I believe it is important to be a little more precise and to avoid colloquial usage of a technical term. My guess is that "synthetic chemicals" is more precise in the above case. hunterhogan 01:38, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

ATC[edit]

I have removed ATC from the infobox because this isnt a drug - its a toxic (Insecticide), and it already have hazards in the infobox and some warning images from "EU classification". Its confusing to have "Pharmacology" in the infobox too, especially when its drug classification. Christian75 (talk) 13:20, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

ATC is pharmacology, so it is in the right subsection. Nothing confusing there. Then, ATC code is about chemical property sec (effect on human body &tc), irrespective if someone has labeled it "drug" or wehatever. Chemicals don't know about their labeling, their effect does not alter. -DePiep (talk) 15:41, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
No - chemicals do not know wheather they are drugs or not, but humans do. Its not used as a drug, but as an insecticide, and therefore its confusing to have an ATC in the infobox.. Its already have some entrys in the toxic section. Christian75 (talk) 16:00, 18 April 2015 (UTC) For the same reason, {{drugbox}} warns against adding chemical properties (to the drugbox) to article descrbimg drugs - because its confusing. Christian75 (talk) 16:03, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Makes sense too, so there is a grey area. NOw when it is unclear or confusing, we should bring clarity - not remove. I think this is worth fleshing out on a larger platform like WP:MED or WP:PHARM or WP:CHEM. Meanwhile, this is not a good reason to remove ATC from articles (status quo = the consensus). -DePiep (talk) 17:03, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

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LD50: two rats?[edit]

The LD50 data now has two facts for rats: 87 mg/kg (rat, oral) and 250 mg/kg (rat, oral). I think this is too much, even if there was clarification. If nothing else, the 250 number should be removed (for being the highest). -DePiep (talk) 06:25, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Since the study is clearly older, we may skip 250 mg/kg. BTW: There is even a third value mentioned in DDT#Acute toxicity. --Leyo 14:08, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
Newer is not automatically better. Large between-experiment variations in data are often seen, especially when run in different labs. As always, best to use the estimates reported by reliable secondary sources. The WHO publication (rat LD50 = 113 mg/kgs) which in turn cites a large number of independent studies would qualify.[1] The 113 mg/kgs appear to be from the lower end of the 113–450 range reported by the WHO[2] who in turn cite Hayes (1959).[3]

References

  1. ^ The WHO recommended classification of pesticides by hazard and guidelines to classification (PDF). World Health Organization. 2005. p. 22. ISBN 9241546638. DDT LD50 for rat = 113 mg/kgs 
  2. ^ DDT and its derivatives. International Programme on Chemical Safety, Environmental Health Criteria 9. Geneva: World Health Organization. 1979. ISBN 9789241540698. DDT water suspension or powder oil solution, rat acute oral LD50 = 113–450 mg/kgs 
  3. ^ Hayes WJ (1959). "Pharmacology and toxicology of DDT". In Müller P. DDT: the insecticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and its significance. 2. Basel: Birkhauser. pp. 9– 247. ISBN 978-3-0348-6796-2. 

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Final phase-out of DDT[edit]

In 2015 issues with DDT seemed to rise to a head, and should be noted somewhere in the article. I think under Wikipedia rules I'd be considered a partisan on these issues, and so I leave it for editors with no puppies in the fight to make necessary changes and additions of sections.

First, India, the sole remaining manufacturer of DDT, discovered that more DDT was not helping with its fight against malaria. Malaria appeared to be winning. This is chiefly signficant because it's a clear rebuttal to claims DDT works wonders everywhere. The issue was covered in Indian media, not well elsewhere. See this article in the Odisha SunTimes: http://odishasuntimes.com/2015/03/15/odisha-has-36-of-malaria-cases-in-india-ranks-third-in-deaths/

Second, Indian officials agreed with the World Health Organization (WHO) to halt production of DDT by 2020. Unless some other nation takes up this manufacture, this will close out DDT production on Earth. Article in the Deccan Herald: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/497314/india-united-nations-pact-end.html

Third, tracking of DDT use by the Stockholm Convention and WHO found only ten nations still using DDT at all, nine in Africa and India. The news is buried in appendices of World Malaria Report 2015, published December 9. Here is a summary, with links to the chart with the information: https://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2016/04/13/ddt-use-plunged-to-just-10-nations-in-2015-gone-by-2020/

Much of the information in this article on DDT is over a decade old; time to update all of it. Edarrell (talk) 21:06, 12 May 2016 (UTC)Edarrell (talk) 21:37, 12 May 2016 (UTC)

Depreciated source in "United States ban"[edit]

I noticed a sentence with a source I was interested in reading: "The EPA held seven months of hearings in 1971–1972, with scientists giving evidence for and against DDT. In the summer of 1972, Ruckelshaus announced the cancellation of most uses of DDT – exempting public health uses under some conditions.[21]"

(It's the first sentence of the third paragraph. Citation points to "DDT Regulatory History: A Brief Survey (to 1975)" (http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/chemicals/ddt-brief-history-status.htm), however that link redirects to a generalized information landing page by the EPA (https://www.epa.gov/pesticides). Kobnar (talk) 07:54, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Updated the broken reference to some 3rd party PDF of what used to be the page. I'm new to Wikipedia editing so I don't know if this meets the citation standards. Kobnar (talk) 07:55, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

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Page moves[edit]

Just I note that the page was recently moved from Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane to DDT. I've restored the article to this page and the redirect to DDT instead. Generally, abbreviations are not used in chemical names, but instead used as a redirect and then the abbreviation is introduced in article. Examples include TNT and 2,4-D. Kingofaces43 (talk) 15:51, 15 December 2016 (UTC)

Ironically, trinitrotoluene was moved to TNT in March 2017. The reasons for the move seem to apply equally to DDT (particularly WP:COMMONNAME: you can find the discussion here). I would therefore support moving the page back to DDT.Wellset (talk) 22:31, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

Opinionated claims, in the lede? Really?[edit]

Along with the passage of the Endangered Species Act, the United States ban on DDT is also regarded by some, to be a major factor in the comeback of the bald eagle (the national bird of the United States) and the peregrine falcon from near-extinction in the contiguous United States.[1][2][better source needed]

Review of the science shows systemic bias[edit]

Largely due to the claimed effects found in the 1962 book, Silent Spring, the use of DDT heavily "polarizes the opinion of scientists", who can generally be classified as opponents, centrists or supporters, that can either be charged with overemphasizing DDT risks or benefits depending on their alignment. In 2011, a review of each position titled, DDT as Anti-Malaria Tool: The Bull in the China Shop or the Elephant in the Room? by Mauro Prato et al, describes how the most vocal group, the opponents to DDT, usually call for DDT elimination because of the perception of massive environmental and health concerns. However, researchers Tren & Roberts point out that the “activist groups [that] currently promote an anti-DDT agenda routinely [hype] supposed human health and environmental harm from DDT and [ignore] studies that find no association between DDT and such harm”, especially at the dose levels typical in the likely human and animal exposure pathways.[3]

In part due to the World Health Organization's investigations into the blood serum levels found in workers conducting indoor spraying, which returned unconcerning blood concentrations, Tren and Roberts conclude that, "none of the thousands of studies conducted to find possible human health effects of DDT satisfied even the most basic epidemiological criteria to prove a cause-and-effect relationship."[4] The Mauro Prato et al. review of the available health science, likewise returns many faulty and contradicted studies after case-controlling, with no definitively linked serious human, or animal, health effect emerging at the typical exposure rates.[5]

A-not-so persistent pollutant, this bioremediation info was removed, why?[edit]

DDT however is not persistent in all environments, marine macroalgae (seaweed) reduce or bioremediate soil concentrations by up to 80% within six weeks.[1]

  1. ^ Kantachote D, Naidu R, Williams B, McClure N, Megharaj M, Singleton I (2004). "Bioremediation of DDT-contaminated soil: enhancement by seaweed addition". Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology. 79 (6): 632–38. doi:10.1002/jctb.1032. 

egg shell thinning, continually mispresented as a major thing[edit]

DDT and its breakdown products, such as DDE, are claimed by some to have caused a deleterious amount of eggshell thinning and population declines in multiple North American and European bird of prey species.[1][2][3][4] DDE-related eggshell thinning is considered by these groups to be a major reason for the decline of the bald eagle,[3] brown pelican,[5] peregrine falcon and osprey.[1] However, birds vary in their sensitivity to these chemicals, with birds of prey, waterfowl and song birds being more susceptible than chickens and related species.[1][6] In 2010, speculation in the NYtimes correlated the "continued thin-shell problems" of the California condors with DDT, as the species feeds on sea lions at Big Sur that in turn feed in the Palos Verdes Shelf area of the Montrose Chemical Superfund.[7][8] By contrast, a scientific review published in 2002 by the international journal of avian science, examined the historic claim that DDT/DDE was the cause of shell-thinning and with that, the decline in the population of the California Condor. The review concludes however, that this claim is not very well supported by the science, due to a number of factors. "Eggshell thickness was more strongly linked to egg size (mass) than to measured levels of DDE", indeed "one female [condor] of the 1980s with [eggs displaying] 25.6% shell thinning was the most productive female of her era" and "[The claim that] DDE was an important cause of the Condor's decline appears unlikely from [the] overall available data."[9] The steep decline in the Condor population began prior to DDT being invented, the ingestion of lead-shot, causing lead poisoning, is regarded as the primary impediment to an increase in the population.[10]

  1. ^ a b c Cite error: The named reference ATSDRc5 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Vos JG, Dybing E, Greim HA, Ladefoged O, Lambré C, Tarazona JV, Brandt I, Vethaak AD (January 2000). "Health effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals on wildlife, with special reference to the European situation". Critical Reviews in Toxicology. 30 (1): 71–133. PMID 10680769. doi:10.1080/10408440091159176. 
  3. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Stokstad07 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9490182
  5. ^ "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Petition Finding and Proposed Rule To Remove the Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Proposed Rule," Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, February 20, 2008. 73 FR 9407
  6. ^ Cite error: The named reference EHC83 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  7. ^ Moir, John, "New Hurdle for California Condors May Be DDT From Years Ago", The New York Times, November 15, 2010. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
  8. ^ Kurle CM, Bakker VJ, Copeland, H, Burnett, J, Scherbinski, JJ, Brandt, J, and Finkelstein, ME. 2016. Terrestrial scavenging of marine mammals: cross-ecosystem contaminant transfer and potential risks to endangered California condors (Gymnogyps californianus). Environmental Science and Technology. [1]
  9. ^ [http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1474-919X.2003.00132.x/abstract;jsessionid=C9359247AD85F1DB6F41D7ABBB20A000.f01t01?systemMessage=WOL+Usage+report+download+page+will+be+unavailable+on+Friday+27th+January+2017+at+23%3A00+GMT%2F+18%3A00+EST%2F+07%3A00+SGT+%28Saturday+28th+Jan+for+SGT%29++for+up+to+2+hours+due+to+essential+server+maintenance.+Apologies+for+the+inconvenience. California Condors and DDE: a re-evaluation DOI: 10.1046/j.1474-919X.2003.00132.x
  10. ^ http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23273747.2016.1173766

Reviews[edit]

Just a note to Yilloslime after a conversation on my user talk page (or anyone else interested), that I recently went looking for reviews that cited primary studies used in the acute and chronic toxicity sections. I filled in references where I could and aligned the content to fit what those reviews said a bit more. I'd prefer not to see a bulleted list of statements like we have in the chronic toxicity section, but I'll leave that for another time or for someone else to handle as sourcing was my main concern for now. Let me know if something I edited wasn't clear. Kingofaces43 (talk) 18:32, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

Aqueous solubility[edit]

A comment concerning this edit by Yilloslime: Are you aware of the publication The Search for Reliable Aqueous Solubility (Sw) and Octanol-Water Partition Coefficient (Kow) Data for Hydrophobic Organic Compounds: DDT and DDE as a Case Study? --Leyo 22:26, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

I came across that I was looking into this. I guess their point is, the solubility values are all over that map (as I said in my edit summary). Unless I missed it, they don't actually recommend a value, they just discuss the various values in the literature. I updated the value to the ATSDR number mostly because we already cite that source for a lot of other things, so it seemed to make sense to send the reader there, rather than to another source which isn't used for anything else. As I recall, the ATSDR number is also more in the range of the values listed in the paper you mention. But I'm open to other ideas. Is there some reason to prefer the original value and source? Maybe we should just say "slight" or "virtually non-soluble" rather than cite a numeric value--I seem to recall seeing sources that use those words or something similar. Yilloslime TC 01:28, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
Especially for chemicals with POPs properties, it is not sufficient to know that the solubility is e.g. "slight" as the physicochemical properties highly impact their environmental fate. The most accurate solubility value is probably the one derived in the review Compilation, Evaluation, and Selection of Physical−Chemical Property Data for Organochlorine Pesticides in Table 16. Unfortunately, it's the liquid-phase solubility. --Leyo 09:32, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

Flagship article[edit]

This could be the flagship article for Wikpedia's famous neutrality policy, if we all got together and agreed to describe all aspects of the controversy. And it's important we do so, because Wikipedia is lot more influential than you might think. The last time I waded in, and corrected some bias, I noticed - by coincidence? - that the United Nations had changed its policy about using DDT for malaria control in Africa. A number of African visitors and immigrants thanked me for saving lives, which was embarrassing because I didn't think I did anything; but they thought so. Anyway, it could turn out to influence public opinion or change international policy, so let's try to get it right.

Here are some of the issues:

  • DDT causes eggshell thinning, which endangers certain bird species
  • DDT sprayed on crops seeps into the larger environment, to the detriment of nature as well as people.
  • DDT helps prevent the spread of malaria, which in turn leads to overpopulation
  • DDT helps prevent the spread of malaria, which saves black lives; and black lives matter
  • Rachel Carson did not call for a "ban" on DDT, although she roundly condemned its use
  • DDT was never banned outright, although its use in agriculture has been restricted in America and elsewhere

These are just off the top of my head, and some are already touched on (in the article), but instead of trying to settle the truth or falsehood of these things perhaps we could simply list the sources or sides which assert that they are so - or not. I'm sure we can do this without accidentally violating the "equal validity" policy: if a source is in the minority, but large enough to mention, we can mention it - but we can be sure to indicate just how few people in general (or experts in the field) give it credence, so no one is misled.

Fair enough? --Uncle Ed (talk) 17:20, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

Incorrect. DDT was incorrectly blamed for deleterious egg-shell thinning and with that, endangered bird population declines. However all of it was just a case of confirmation bias and motivated reasoning due to the popularity of Carson's book. As detailed above, a modern scientific review on the claim, found that DDT was not an important factor in the decline of the Californian Candor. Moreover "egg-shell thinning" is more a function of egg-size. So essentially environmentalists with Carson's book tucked under their arm, made a mountainous claim out of a mole-hill...
Read a 21st century scientific review on the matter.California Condors and DDE: a re-evaluation DOI: 10.1046/j.1474-919X.2003.00132.x.
Now as for the rest of your bullet points, well aren't they just as ill-informed and not to mention, perhaps tinged with racism. - with your points that DDT is bad because it causes "Over-population"... "and the hard to grasp, Black lives matter jab"...indeed... Right...You do know that over-population is a myth right? For centuries it has just been a cover story for deep-seated misanthropy. There really is no such thing as "over-population".
Now, some isolated cities, sure feel "over-populated"...but the world is a big place, the solar system is even bigger. Technology is propelled forward by having a large and growing population. If you truly want "sustainable" go join the amish. If you want to propel technology forward, have kids. Even humanities increasingly problematic CO2 emissions are a great boon for technology, as without it being a problem, there really wouldn't be this massive motivation to invent alternatives to fossil fuels right now. So it's really great! Although that's not the perspective that is usually tagged onto it for policy reasons. Moreover, More kids-->greater demand for products, such as food, which leads to--->greater investment in basic science and agricultural science in an effort to increase production--->which results in a better understanding of plant growth, and higher yielding crops are superior technology. Which again, is also great! The most valuable resource on earth is not "Gold" oir "oil" or whatever. It is human ingenuity and creativity.
It is what turns dirt and muck into greatness! So stop with this "over-population" and racist "more black lives" insinuations, and use your head.
Once you've thrown out your unfounded beliefs, then Uncle Ed I'd be more than willing to help you write this article as you suggest.
DDT is no silver-bullet, but the situation as it stands now, is that it has been falsely maligned for causing everything under the sun, largely due to Carson's book. A book which is one grand case of correlation, not causation. A book that resulted in an over-reaction of paranoid hysteria.
Boundarylayer (talk) 12:44, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

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