National Geographic : 2007 Nov
worldwide were resistant to DDT. The poor Third World that receives DDT will have unleashed upon it a short-term gain in exchange for dreadful long-term health implications. NANCY MOYSIUK Toronto, Ontario Donald Roberts, professor emeritus at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, replies: "The U.S. started experimenting with DDT for malaria control as early as 1943. Although vari ous control programs were successfulin reducing malaria in urban areas by the mid 1940s, malaria remained a major health problem in south ern rural areas. The National Malaria Eradication Program began in July 1947; almost five million rural homes were sprayed with DDT, and malaria was quickly eliminated. No meaningful adverse health outcomes to people as a result of high and prolonged DDT exposure have ever been shown. Today, developing countries that opt to use DDT will stop hundreds of thou sands, perhaps millions, of malarial deaths." If Rachel Carson were here to defend herself, she would support the careful use of DDT in the fight against malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. Silent Spring was dedicated to Albert Schweitzer, the great humanitarian who devoted much of his life's work to help ing ease suffering in Africa. Rachel Carson cared deeply for all of life and for generations yet unborn. Nearly 50 years ago she said clearly what is still just a glimmer in the con sciousness of most people. The suffering will not begin to end until we treat the living world with the humility necessary to bring all our knowledge of its subtlety and intricacy to bear on these problems. MARCIA E. PHILLIPS Washington, D.C. Write, Email, Fax Write National Geographic Magazine PO Box 98199 Washington, DC 20090-8199 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Fax 202-828-5460 Include name, address, and daytime telephone. Letters may be edited for clarity and length. It is what makes fire-retardant materials for the people who keep us safe. It is chemistry.