Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is it justified to export ddt?

  1. Feb 4, 2004 #1
    The U.S. banned DDT in the early 1970s and has since then exported DDT to a number of developing countries. Is this right?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2004 #2
  4. Feb 5, 2004 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    In the US, the principle use of DDT was to make farm produce slightly more profitable. This was unacceptable considering the the effects on species with behavior that concentrated the toxin in their own bodies.

    There are countries in the world in which malaria is a significant health risk. DDT is very effective at controlling mosquito population. This is an acceptable use even considering the side effects. If other effective measures can be taken to make DDT unnecessary, that would be wonderful. If they are effective enough, and available to the impovrished nations that need them most, then it would be unethical to supply DDT.

    There are people who make a religion out of the environment. In that religion, DDT is a demon. It is always evil. Anyone who speaks about rational use of DDT is a heretic. Listening to heretics endangers the soul.

  5. Feb 5, 2004 #4
    Yeah...the risk of DDT is not as great as the risk of malaria. You have to weigh the risks.
  6. Feb 5, 2004 #5
    Perfectly okay to me. There's a risk vs. gain here.


    Now, if controlled DDT spraying saves more lives than malaria takes, then it's a trade off that is to be decided by individual countries.
  7. Feb 5, 2004 #6
    stop agreeing with me! You are sounding like a heartless conservative! :p
  8. Feb 5, 2004 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    There is an intersection of some conservative and liberal views among rationalists. There's probably more common ground there than between the "Earth mother" and "jealous and angry God" crowds.

  9. Feb 5, 2004 #8
    No, if I were a heartless conservative I would want to sell DDT on credit to African nations at 20% interest, compounded hourly.
  10. Feb 5, 2004 #9

    Excellent idea!
  11. Feb 5, 2004 #10
    A purely profit-driven heartless conservative would sell DDT on credit to African nations at a staggering price (at least 3x its original price) with >50% interest, continuously compounded. To save money, he would then make DDT by using cheap non-human-grade chemicals to produce the "DDT" that is now a shadow (and dangerous mixture) of its former self.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2004
  12. Feb 5, 2004 #11

    Absolute Bull!!
    Increasing the price by 3 times would only work if it still kept competive with the rest of the world, which it would not.
    Again, 50% interest would also rule us out as a supplier.

    Non-human grade? ITS A PESTICIDE MEANT TO KILL! It has been proven to cause defects, hence the controversy!!

    From an actual conservative, I would work it this way:

    Offer Africans the AIDs treatment, computers, or better yet, military assistance (we can offer more and better than anyone else in the market) at the going rate. Hell, we couple in several of these and the DDT in a "Africa Loan Package" as assistance to the tormented continent. Follow this with a high interest on the tangibles, while overshadowing that with a "seemingly" low interest on payment for the services. This will keep the end price a good deal, and where we lose on the low interest, we gain with geopolitical power of military bases setup in the region. As time goes on, we use the military presence and the African's debt to us, to take a strong hold over the diamond and oil markets for repayment(while killing all endangered species, since that's what we conservatives get our rocks off on ).
    We'll isolate the godforsaken wasteland and use it as a modern day
    Australia for all of the world's prisoners
  13. Feb 6, 2004 #12


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Credit? Not a chance unless they can give us those diamonds of theirs as collateral....
  14. Feb 7, 2004 #13
    See what I mean?!?
  15. Feb 7, 2004 #14
    The only reason that DDT should be sold to other counties is if we have extra. We SHOULD NOT, and i repeat, SHOULD NOT create more. We have found a better chemical and we should only sell that
  16. Feb 7, 2004 #15
    Good point...why DON'T we sell cheaper, or give the old DDT away if we still have some?
  17. Feb 7, 2004 #16
    What is this better chemical? Is it cheaper?

    Why should we not create more of a product that has a viable positive use?
  18. Feb 7, 2004 #17

    What is the going rate for DDT? How low can it go??

    Again, why not create a product that has viable uses? Simpy it is overkill for OUR uses (we don't have malaria problems).

    We don't give it away because we aren't the world's charity. Why don't you give away more of your income? Why don't you do without MORE?
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?