DDT is still dangerous

I wish to comment as follows:

First of all DDT is and remains a toxin with specific physiological effects on humans exposed to it in whatever form or way or environment and for whatever duration of time. Your articles create the impression that in the past the caution that was exercised all over the world concerning the handling and exposure to DDT has been unnecessary as the World Health Organisation lifted the ban on DDT.

Readers with a good educational or professional background will read your lines with the necessary understanding.

Where such background is lacking your lines condemn the reader to irresponsible and negligent activities.

I aim particularly to the statement (on page A4) and I quote, “Human can eat it by the teaspoon without anything dramatic happening”.

Yes, nothing dramatic will happen when doing so but several years later that human or his/her children will show the consequences of the ‘eating’: the potential for cancer, genetical defects, malfunctioning of certain organs.

You will understand that the sentence in question gives the wrong signal to the reader.

Being employed with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry’s Department of Water Affairs, I am involved with the drafting of Regulations for Water Quality. This task includes the proposed Standards and Guidelines for Water Quality. I have classified agro-chemicals like pesticides under the so called endocrine disrupter chemicals (EDCs). The pesticide DDT and its equally toxic breakdown products are internationally classified as EDCs. In the Regulations their occurrence is prohibited in both potable and waste water ‘ no further discussion.

Some other points of disagreement are:

l the breakdown products of DDT are by no means “safe” not at all;

l the change-over from other pesticides to DDT or considerations to change from DDT to other control measures are dictated not so much by their polluting properties but their effectivity,costs or resistance development by the pathogen or its vector.

I agree that much of the news that is presented to the population at large and world ‘ wide is at least tainted, if not outright lies.In some cases it is intended to brainwash the reader into thinking along the lines certain people in powerful ecomomic or political positions want him/her to think.

The initiative to establish The Southern Times to counter such moves is therefore laudable.

However, as concerns the WHO and their lifting the ban on DDT with all the half-truths that accompany such decision ‘ it is a typical trap set-up by the military-industrial complex in a particular country that the TST fell for and probably many a health authority in Africa as well as I note that recently a SADC conference was held on this topic in Windhoek.

To expound on that further would break the framework of my intention to write this commentary on your DDT articles.

Yours respectfully,

Roland M Roeis.



December 2006
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