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Unformatted text preview: William (Bill) Ruch A39756217 02/20/08 The DDT Debate I. The Issue : The United States hasnt always been nearly as healthy as it is today as less then a century ago, hundreds of thousands of Americans were falling victim to a wide array of diseases ranging from yellow fever to malaria. Many were dying worldwide and some kind of miracle cure was desperately needed. Said cure came in the form of DDT, an insecticide synthesized by Swiss entomologist Robert Mueller. It was first dusted for World War II solders in Italy to curb the typhus epidemic, the result was an enormous success. Its relative lack of toxicity toward humans and efficiency for killing disease bearing insects made it an extremely popular pesticide across the globe. However, eventually the diseased insects became immune to the pesticide and with the DDT already in the ecosystem, as marine scientist Rachel Carlson had discovered, it had a negative on the reproduction of predators such as eagles and hawks further down the food chain. This environmental impact eventually led to it being banned in the US and several other nations. The issue now is over weather or not to ban DDT worldwide. On one side environmental supporters state that DDT is not nearly as effective as it used to be and its minor benefits are greatly outweighed by its destructive cost on the ecosystem, and should therefore be largely banned (with few reserves in case of emergency.) Dissenting this point of view are humanitarians that argue that DDT is still the cheapest most effective way to...
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This note was uploaded on 03/26/2008 for the course ISS 215 taught by Professor Lang during the Fall '06 term at Michigan State University.
- Fall '06