Poisoned nets

Beginning a roundup of Saturday Rocket Science links:

Since the turn of the millennium, worldwide deaths from malaria have been cut almost in half, largely through the use of mosquito nets treated with long-lasting insecticide.


E Hines said...

But long-term, chronic use will cause abnormal neural development in the babies sleeping under them.

And mosquitoes gotta live, too. Where's PETA on this?

Besides, these nets are ecologically unsound; without mosquitoes, what will all the mosquito-eaters, from parasites to birds, eat? The whole ecology comes crashing down. Eventually.

Eric Hines

MikeD said...

A quick search of the internet reveals over half a million deaths (out of over 200 million cases) from malaria each year for at least the past two years. And if that's down by half, then I'd say the risks you list, Eric, are likely worth the savings in lives and human suffering.

douglas said...

Mike, it's certainly worth it and we should be doing more, especially if we think black lives matter. Rachel Carson and the banning of DDT were criminal- many millions (and mostly children) died because of that fear mongering.

I have found this NYT opinion piece on the damage done by banning DDT to be fairly persuasive with those of a different political stripe from mine- "What the world needs now is DDT"

From the article: "The global eradication effort is also being thwarted by insecticide resistance, which has been reported by 49 countries. Parasite resistance to artemisinin has been detected in Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand and Vietnam. "

I bet DDT has a longer curve to development of resistance. Too bad we hardly use it anymore.