Friday, June 19, 2009


Sage advice from Tim Lambert: always click on the links. When reading Lambert always click on his links; you'll likely find they don't support whatever argument he's making. The following is typical:
The use of DDT against malaria is not banned. The LD50 (quantity that kills half of test subjects) for DDT is 200 mg/kg for monkeys (closest analogue to humans). So for a 75 kg person that's 15g, or one tablespoon. A 50% chance of killing you does not, to me, seem to be the same as "no harm at all". And DDT does thin bird shells...
The first link above is to an earlier Lambert post with further links to other Lambert posts. These address not the general use of DDT but rather Sri Lanka's use of DDT in the 1960s and '70s.

The second link is to the Pesticide Action Network's pesticide database -- apparently Lambert could find no reputable science sources providing the information he needed. Clicking the link is worthwhile because Lambert need not have used information about DDT toxicity in a test analogue; human lethal dose figures are provided: the LDLo for humans, that is, the lowest lethal human dose, is 500.0 mg/kg, which is equal to approximately 2.5 tablespoons.

If Lambert had taken the time to look he might have found this:
Amounts at least as high as 285 mg/kg have been ingested without fatalities.
In fact, there is no proof that anyone has died as a result of acute DDT poisoning.

Lambert's third link is to the index of the book Biology of Marine Birds. It proves nothing.

There's more iffy linking in comments with this from educator Ed Darrell:
One must marvel at people who deny that DDT is toxic. The skull and crossbones on the old DDT containers was there for a reason. We know that one cup of prepared DDT kills kids -- a five-year-old kid thought the milky solution might be tasty as it dripped from a tank. Fatal.

And even today, DDT is a common suicide poison in Asia. Does Monckton think Asia doesn't exist? Does he know that DDT is poisonous, but hope to hoodwink everyone else? Is he just a blazing misanthrope?
As noted earlier, DDT is not proven to have caused anyone's death -- the solvents in which DDT is disolved are thought to account for the deaths resulting from consumption of DDT solutions. Click the Darrell provided link and you'll find a story about a woman who unsuccessfully attempted suicide by consuming DDT powder. If she does die, she will be the first documented death from acute DDT poisoning, provided it was actually DDT she consumed.

As always, everything at Deltoid about DDT must be regarded as suspect.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh boy Lambert is despicable. It seems he really wants black people dead and would be dancing on their graves.

6:20 PM  
Anonymous ar said...

Ingest 2.5 tbsps of any other household chemical and see what the health effects are. Just to be safe, start with salt.

8:32 AM  

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