Gambia Study Showed No Significant Reduction in Malaria Vectors from Indoor Residual Spraying

In my ongoing series on the efficacy of DDT as a public health measure, check out a recent study published in The Lancet. I’ve excerpted portions of the abstract:

Although many malaria control programmes in sub-Saharan Africa use indoor residual spraying with long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), the two studies assessing the benefit of the combination of these two interventions gave conflicting results. We aimed to assess whether the addition of indoor residual spraying to LLINs provided a significantly different level of protection against clinical malaria in children or against house entry by vector mosquitoes.

We identified no significant difference in clinical malaria or vector density between study groups. In this area with high LLIN coverage, moderate seasonal transmission, and susceptible vectors, indoor residual spraying did not provide additional benefit.

When you read the study, you observe the care with which effective public environmental health research must be planned and the narrow conclusions which can then be drawn. People who believe that DDT could eliminate malaria are not following scientific research.

Advocate of DDT Says It Is Effective Against Malaria and Poses Little Health Risk

Thomas “Woody” Highsmith of Evans, Georgia is retired from the Georgia Department of Agriculture Entomology & Pesticides Division, was a Department of Defense pest control contractor in Afghanistan from 2006-2009, and is currently facilities pest controller at the Carl Vinson Veterans Medical Center in Dublin, Georgia. He responded to my letter DDT is No Solution to Malaria with a defense of DDT. Continue reading

Promoting DDT as the Solution to Malaria: Walter Williams’s Attack on the Environmental Movement

Walter Williams falsely claims that environmentalists’ urging of restrictions on the pesticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) is responsible for the death of tens of millions from malaria. He then uses this claim and others to attack environmental regulation and environmentalists’ warnings of future harms from unregulated production and consumption. Continue reading