Not sure what DDT does to birds, but I know how it helps people

November 18, 2009  ·  Michael Fumento  ·  Weblog

There's been much in the news lately about the brown pelican being delisted as
DDT delousing in Naples
an endangered species since its recovery from the effects of DDT. There are people whose work I trust who disagree as to whether DDT actually thinned bird eggshells and thus led to declines in various species. That said, all of them are agreed as to the value in saving lives in poor areas - including parts of Africa today.
A poignant reminded comes in Rick Atkinson's wonderful history of the Italian campaign in World War II, The Day of Battle. He first describes the typhus epidemic in recently-liberated Naples that carried off a fourth of its victims. "Carts hauled away the dead at night, as in medieval times. Typhus, which had killed three million people in Russia and Poland during and after World War I, is spread by lice, and 90 percent of the civilian population in Naples reputedly harbored head lice."