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Posts Tagged ‘DDT’

141 Repellent covered on Fox 31 in Denver

In DEET, Dengue Fever, Malaria, Uncategorized on May 19, 2011 at 8:10 am

“Tracz hopes that his company’s natural pine-oil derivative will be the first non-toxic alternative to DDT, and he believes it could change the face of disease control in the developing world.

The name of his company, 141 Repellent, is based on a business model that means just that: one for one. For every bottle the company sells, it will donate one malaria treatment for a bed net in the developing world.”,0,4142738.story


Op-Ed: Oz. of Prevention vs Lb(s). of Cure?

In Dengue Fever, Malaria, Uncategorized on April 12, 2011 at 1:06 pm

I was asked to write this as part of the Malaria No More Griot project-dt Dennis Tracz of 141 Repellent

The global disease control community including the World Health Organization, UN, US Govt and NGO’s were energized by Bill and Melinda Gates calling for the ERADICATION of malaria rather than just trying to control the disease.

“Advances in science and medicine, promising research, and the rising concern of people around the world represent an historic opportunity not just to treat malaria or to control it—but to chart a long-term course to eradicate it,” said Melinda Gates in October 2007.

Pound(s) of Cure

Billions of dollars have been invested in research designed to eradicate malaria through the development of vaccines and lethal insecticides impregnated in bed nets. Some people are even shooting lasers at mosquitoes! After WWII grand efforts to eliminate malaria with DDT met with mixed results but certainly drove down deaths from the disease.

Indiscriminate spraying of DDT and other chemicals soon caused mosquitoes to develop resistance against the lethal effects. DDT also created environmental concerns especially with bird egg shells. Many believe the Bald Eagle was almost driven to extinction by DDT and other pesticides. The US banned DDT in the early 1970’s for any use and most of the world followed with similar restrictions except for DDT’s use in malaria disease control. WHO approved DDT for restricted use for spraying on the walls of homes and in treated bed nets.

Since almost all R&D investment is for eradicating malaria, any solution that doesn’t kill the mosquito or treat the symptoms like a vaccine or medicine is ignored. Scientists are racing to develop even more toxic insecticides while a vaccine still eludes researchers.

Ounce of Prevention

DDT and many other chemicals, primarily insecticides made from pyrethroids, are used to treat bed nets with the idea that if a mosquito lands on the bed net the insecticide treatment will kill the insect. Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) follows the same logic by spraying the interior walls of huts with insecticide.  While only 12% of homes have IRS treatment many more have and are using bednets with signs of success but at a high cost

Surprise! A Spatial Repellent

Some researchers have discovered a surprising benefit from DDT in IRS applications. While mosquitoes have developed resistance to the toxicity of DDT they are repelled by a spatial repellent effect.  Homes that have been treated by DDT seem to PREVENT the mosquitoes carrying malaria from entering the home in the first place. This spatial repellent action and its effectiveness in preventing mosquito bites is the primary reason that WHO and other organizations continue to support the use of DDT in malaria disease control. It doesn’t kill them, just keeps them out of your home!

Here is a chart showing both the spatial repellency and the contact irritancy (mosquitoes fly off because of irritation from the chemical) DDT is far more effective than any other chemical for both spatial repellency and contact irritancy.

My company, 141 Repellent, is developing a new active ingredient in partnership with the USDA that has demonstrated spatial repellency in tests by the US Govt.  Combining a spatial repellent with no toxicity for use in malaria disease control is not in line with current thinking of developing lethal solutions but can save millions of lives if implemented.  An internationally known senior scientist in the malaria field said this about isolongifolenone, our new plant-based active ingredient:

“It could have huge impact saving lives.  It could have utility not only for use in malaria programs but could have huge impact in the control of other diseases… A non- toxic compound would be an absolute first in this business of disease control.  Actually, lets be honest, there really is no such thing as a non-toxic chemical.  However, there is potential that your chemicals are much safer than chemicals in present use.  The reason I say this is that each of the chemicals in use today are in use precisely because they are toxic–your chemicals will be the exception.

There are many obstacles to adopting our ounce of prevention as a solution to malaria but we remain optimistic that we can help millions of people avoid malaria until a permanent solution such as a vaccine can be developed.

The author is the founder and CEO of 141 Repellent, Inc.


A New Home for DDT?

In Dengue Fever, Malaria on April 12, 2011 at 8:31 am

The New York Times

August 20, 2007

A New Home for DDT


Bethesda, Md.

DDT, the miracle insecticide turned environmental bogeyman, is once again playing an important role in public health. In the malaria-plagued regions of Africa, where mosquitoes are becoming resistant to other chemicals, DDT is now being used as an indoor repellent. Research that I and my colleagues recently conducted shows that DDT is the most effective pesticide for spraying on walls, because it can keep mosquitoes from even entering the room.

The news may seem surprising, as some mosquitoes worldwide are already resistant to DDT. But we’ve learned that even mosquitoes that have developed an immunity to being directly poisoned by DDT are still repelled by it.

Malaria accounts for nearly 90 percent of all deaths from vector-borne disease globally. And it is surging in Africa, surpassing AIDS as the biggest killer of African children under age 5.

From the 1940s onward, DDT was used to kill agricultural pests and disease-carrying insects because it was cheap and lasted longer than other insecticides. DDT helped much of the developed world, including the United States and Europe, eradicate malaria. Then in the 1970s, after the publication of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” which raised concern over DDT’s effects on wildlife and people, the chemical was banned in many countries. Birds, especially, were said to be vulnerable, and the chemical was blamed for reduced populations of bald eagles, falcons and pelicans. Scientific scrutiny has failed to find conclusive evidence that DDT causes cancer or other health problems in humans.

Today, indoor DDT spraying to control malaria in Africa is supported by the World Health Organization; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and the United States Agency for International Development.

The remaining concern has been that the greater use of DDT in Africa would only lead mosquitoes to develop resistance to it. Decades ago, such resistance developed wherever DDT crop spraying was common. After the DDT bans went into effect in the United States and elsewhere, it continued to be used extensively for agriculture in Africa, and this exerted a powerful pressure on mosquitoes there to develop resistance. Although DDT is now prohibited for crop spraying in Africa, a few mosquito species there are still resistant to it. But DDT has other mechanisms of acting against mosquitoes beyond killing them. It also functions as a “spatial repellent,” keeping mosquitoes from entering areas where it has been sprayed, and as a “contact irritant,” making insects that come in contact with it so irritated they leave.

In our studies, in which we sprayed DDT on the walls of huts in Thailand, three out of every five test mosquitoes sensed the presence of DDT molecules and would not enter the huts. Many of those that did enter and made contact with DDT became irritated and quickly flew out.

The mosquitoes we used were the kind that carry dengue and yellow fever, not malaria. But there is ample evidence that malaria-carrying mosquitoes respond similarly to DDT. Several malaria-carrying species are even more sensitive to DDT’s repellent effects.

When we sprayed the huts with either dieldrin or alphacypermethrin, in contrast, all the test mosquitoes entered. Alphacypermethrin acted as a contact irritant, and it killed others that lingered on a treated surface. Dieldrin worked only as a poison — a powerful one, killing 92 percent of mosquitoes that made contact with it, far more than alphacypermethrin or DDT.

But dieldrin’s strong toxicity means that mosquitoes quickly develop resistance to it. Its use against malaria was short-lived, ending in the 1950s, because it so quickly became powerless.

Alphacypermethrin and others like it in the family of so-called pyrethroid insecticides are viewed as environmentally friendly, so they are used heavily in agriculture, in Africa and elsewhere. They are also used for treating bed nets and in indoor spraying programs to control malaria. But these multiple uses, combined with fact that the insecticide must make contact with the insect in order to work, have made pyrethroid resistance a large and growing problem for pest control programs in Africa.

DDT’s spatial repellency, by keeping mosquitoes from making physical contact, reduces the likelihood that the insects will develop resistance. Even those mosquitoes already resistant to poisoning by DDT are repelled by it.

It would be a mistake to think we could rely on DDT alone to fight mosquitoes in Africa. Fortunately, research aimed at developing new and better insecticides continues — thanks especially to the work of the international Innovative Vector Control Consortium. Until a suitable alternative is found, however, DDT remains the cheapest and most effective long-term malaria fighter we have.

Donald Roberts is an emeritus professor of tropical medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and a board member of the nonprofit health advocacy group Africa Fighting Malaria. Article Link


A Vacuum That Attacks Bedbugs

In Bed Bugs on March 17, 2011 at 5:41 pm

The war on bedbugs has become so pervasive that only an act of Congress is needed to make it official. Meanwhile, the civilian population is stepping up its weapons. One of the newest is the CleanWave Sanitizing Bagless Vacuum by Verilux, which was introduced at the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago last week and sells for about $400.


“It uses UV light, which is a germicidal,” said Ryan Douglas, chief executive officer of Verilux. “What’s most exciting is that it is killing bedbugs; nymphs, which are the babies, and bedbug eggs.”

Hasn’t this vac-attack thing been tried before?

“Some people have tried to kill germs with vacs,” Mr. Douglas said. “But UV-C is a tricky wavelength of light, it’s hard to harness. What we are able to do is intensify and focus it at the surface so it can be very effective as a sanitizer. With the tests we’ve done on bedbug eggs, none of them hatched.”

That gives us the feeling that some tough adults survived.

“A tough adult bedbug is going to survive DDT, just about everything,” he said. “It’s important to be preventative.”

A vacuum could suck up the adults, we suppose. But then this vac is bagless — and they’re probably tough to spot.

“It has a contained area. And they’re actually visible, kind of reddish brown and about 3 ½ to 5 millimeters in length,” Mr. Douglas said. “What we advise people to do is put the container in a plastic bag and drop the bottom out. Then you tie the bag off and double-bag it and get it out of your house.” More


A version of this article appeared in print on March 17, 2011, on page D3 of the New York edition.


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