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Balancing risks on the backs of the poor

Malaria kills over one million people, mainly children, in the tropics each year, and DDT remains one of the few affordable, effective tools against the mosquitoes that transmit the disease. Attaran et al. explain that the scientific literature on the need to withdraw DDT is unpersuasive, and the benefits of DDT in saving lives from malaria are well worth the risks.

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Figure 1: Cumulative malaria cases derived from Pan-American Health Organization data for Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela.


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The views expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the Department of Defense or the United States Government.

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Attaran, A., Roberts, D., Curtis, C. et al. Balancing risks on the backs of the poor. Nat Med 6, 729–731 (2000).

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