Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane (DDT) is a synthetic insecticide that has been around since the late 1800s. It was once termed the “miracle pesticide” and was instrumental in eradicating malaria from Europe and North America. DDT was very instrumental in controlling mosquito-borne disease around the time of World War II, after which it became widely available as an agricultural insecticide. The book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson led to a large public outcry regarding the harmful effects of DDT on wildlife. This outcry eventually resulted in a ban of DDT in the United States in 1972. Although DDT is still used in some countries, the Stockholm Convention has limited the insecticide’s use to malaria control as part of a decision to restrict a group of chemicals known as the “Dirty Dozen.” A goal of the Stockholm Convention is to stop production of DDT by 2017; however, not everyone agrees that DDT should be banned because of its efficacy in controlling malaria.
Search for a wide selection of scholarly information on DDT and malaria. See instructions below. Points for you to consider in your search for information should include the following:
- What is the impact of malaria in terms of health, mortality, and economics?
- How does DDT work to control malaria?
- What has the body of research actually shown regarding the toxicity of DDT to humans (and wildlife)?
- What malaria control alternatives exist now and how do they compare to DDT in terms of cost, function, efficacy, and toxicity?
- Who are the stakeholders and what are the various positions they take on this controversy?
Application instructions: For this Application, you will write a review of the issue and take a position on the use of DDT for malaria control. Find scholarly sources such as primary research, journal articles, organizational and governmental Web sites for such organizations as the EPA, CDC, and WHO; and statistics used by public health professionals. You should also familiarize yourself with the organizations that have a stake in this controversy. Cite all facts and all sources. Rehashing fact sheets instead of using the most appropriate and direct source for your information will result in point deduction. APA format is required. Use appropriately named, APA formatted section headers to designate the three main sections of your paper (identified below). Appropriately formatted subheaders are encouraged to identify key subsections. Your paper should be 5–7 double-spaced pages, not including the title page and references. This Application is due by Day 4.
- Significance of Malaria: Discuss the significance of malaria as a public health issue. Include information on the etiology of malaria. Support significance with epidemiological information such as incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality, and societal cost to support your discussion. Be sure to use the most direct, scholarly sources. You should have at least one research article on malaria to support your discussion.
- Impact of DDT: Discuss the mechanism of action of DDT. Include in your discussion how DDT controls malaria, alternatives to DDT, and a synopsis of key research that has been done to ascertain the toxicity of DDT to humans. To support your conclusions as to the toxicity of DDT, you should discuss at least three research articles which have been conducted to determine the health effects of exposure to DDT, and only one of these may be an animal study. Research must be read and cited directly, not through secondary sources. You may also include a brief discussion on the findings regarding toxicity to wildlife, but the main focus should be on human health effects.
- Position Statement: Take a position on whether DDT’s benefit as a malaria control method outweighs the risk of toxicity, and make a recommendation for action. For this paper, you will not be allowed to take a middle ground; you need to choose one position and support it. Provide a supported, clear conclusion that follows and reiterates the key evidence on the impact of malaria and the toxicity of DDT from your discussion.
Possible References for Application (you will need to locate additional references)