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Andre Angelantoni
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Here is the corrected link:
Dan, you were wondering about DDT toxicity. The following quote appears in Biskind's document as he attempted to warn of DDT: "Despite the fact that DDT is a highly lethal poison for all species of animals, the myth has become prevalent among the general population that it is safe for man in virtually any quantity. Not only is it used in households with reckless abandon, so that sprays and aerosols are inhaled, the solutions are permitted to contaminate the skin, bedding and other textiles are saturated, and food and food utensils are contaminated, but DDT is also widely used in restaurants and food processing establishments and as an insecticide on crops. Cattle, sheep and other food animals are extensively dusted with it and large areas are indiscriminately sprayed from airplanes for mosquito control. DDT is difficult and usually completely impossible to remove from contaminated foods (it is not affected by cooking), and it accumulates in the fat and appears in the milk of animals who feed on sprayed pasture or on contaminated fodder or who lick the DDT from their hides. As DDT is a cumulative poison (in animals repeated small doses are as lethal as single large ones) it is inevitable that large scale intoxication of the American population would occur.” DDT Poisoning and the Elusive Virus X: A New Cause for Gastro-Enteritis One early document that thoroughly examines DDT poisoning and seemingly exonerates DDT in small quantities in man is: The Toxicity of DDT, Cameron, BMJ, 1945 But even they say: "Generally speaking, the lowest dose which produced some casualties was about half to two-thirds-that of the LD50. Even so, it is apparent that the toxicity of DDT when given in solution by various routes as single doses is not high." In their studies, animals and humans were exposed to DDT in single and repeated doses using various routes, including mists, impregnated cloth against shaved skin, oral administration, subcutaneous and intramuscular injection. First signs of intoxication from large single doses appeared after 12 to 24 hours. Notice the effects they see in animals leading up to the LD50: “The animal is cold to the ouch, its fur is ruffled and diarrheoa may be present. It seems to be nervous and very sensitive to stimuli. Muscular weakness sets in about this time, starting in the muscles of the back and soon involving the hind limbs. Fine and then course tremors develop in these regions, the animal shaking violently for hours on end. Movement becomes restricted staggering, often spastic. The forelimbs are seldom affected, so that the animal can partly support itself or even drag its immobile hind quarters about. Anorexia leads to a rapid loss of body weight. Death may occur 24 to 48 hours or be delayed for several days. Respiration fails, but the heart continues to beat until the end and sometimes for a few minutes after breathing ceases. Convulsions are rare. In animals that recover, nervous and muscular signs may develop and last for some days eventually disappearing without apparent aftereffects. No evidence of permanent damage has been seen in such cases.” DDT can cause paralysis in animals. Since DDT accumulates in animal and human tissue it could have contributed to the overall toxic load still contributing the polio cases. However, given the date of the spraying (1955), the peak number of cases had already occurred (1953/54). The peak may have been caused, as ATSC points out, by reclassification or because all epidemics eventually burn themselves out or because there was less DDT use across the country — it’s impossible to know now because they changed the diagnosis right at this time.
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May 24, 2010