The article, “Global status of DDT and its alternatives for use in vector control to prevent disease”, by van den Berg (2009) aims to evaluate the use of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in malaria vector control and assess its alternatives. He contends that the risks…
The side effects, resistance to insecticides in vectors and cost-effectiveness of DDT were discussed (2009). He concludes that though there is limited implementation of DDT alternatives, however, more research needs to be done, as IVM will diminish dependence on DDT (2009, p. 1661).
Van den Berg states that, when compared with other insecticides, DDT was once a cost effective method of vector control, however, that does not hold true any longer; even as early as 1998, the cost of DDT and other insecticides became almost equal, with DDT costs ranging from US$1.50-3.00 and other insecticides costing less than US$2.20 (2009, p. 1657-1658). Moreover, recent studies show that the risk of human exposure is great in those living in sprayed houses (2009, p. 1658), however, there is a dearth of such studies, e.g. no peer-reviewed data is available from India which is the biggest user of DDT (2009, p. 1658). Van den Berg points out that though the WHO is reassessing the health risks of DDT, however, progress in this regard is slow (2009, p. 1658). DDT is known to be a persistent molecule and, as such, it takes a long while for it to degrade. It does not run-off either, as it binds itself with the organic matter present in soils and aquatic sediment (van den Berg, 2009, p. 1658). The DDT molecules have been shown to cause a lot of harm in the environment; therefore, there is a need for other alternatives to be explored. Another disadvantage of continuing to use DDT is the insecticide resistance that has been reported in certain species of the vectors. Van den Berg states that though the resistance was developed as a consequence of the excessive use of DDT in the agricultural sector, however, it is further exacerbated by the use of synthetic pyrethroids (2009, p. 1658). Van den Berg has also given a list of certain alternatives to ...
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