Source: University of Illinois

The new Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants treaty developed in mid-October 2010 and currently being presented to Congress for ratification by President Obama caused a renewal of the controversy over the use of DDT.

In 2005, this treaty included the eventual elimination of the use of DDT to control malaria-carrying mosquitoes as alternative insecticides become available. Although there are alternative insecticides available, they are much more expensive than DDT.

Although some countries with malaria problems have switched to alternatives such as pyrethroid insecticides, many countries report that the lower cost of DDT allows them to provide protection from malaria to more of their people.

Most uses of DDT were banned in the US in 1972 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (which was established in 1970) due to environmental concerns. The book "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson did much to alert the U.S. public to the effects of this insecticide on birds and to generally raise environmental awareness. 

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