“There are no harmless chemicals, only harmless uses of chemicals.”

by nobugsonme on June 5, 2007 · 2 comments

in bed bugs, DDT, pesticides

An article in the New York Times today suggests we give some thought to the words of I. L. Baldwin, a man who suggested Rachel Carson was a bit too hard on pesticides.

Ms. Carson presented DDT as a dangerous human carcinogen, but Dr. Baldwin said the question was open and noted that most scientists “feel that the danger of damage is slight.” He acknowledged that pesticides were sometimes badly misused, but he also quoted an adage: “There are no harmless chemicals, only harmless use of chemicals.”

As you can guess, the outcome depends on your definition of “harmless use of chemicals.”

I share this article because you should read it. But perhaps we could all refrain from commenting unless we can be as balanced and calm as this article. I will too.

I can hear you now, “No, you did not just blog on the immigration-bed bugs smokescreen, and a DDT article in the Times in one day!”

Yes, I did. What third item of news would make this a Bedbugger Controversial Topics Trifecta?

I shudder to think.

1 Winston O. Buggy June 7, 2007 at 10:05 am

Wow immigration like totally blew away even DDT. Just did not want this opportunity to pass by. This is a very valid issue. Very often those who seek to restrict, eliminate or otherwise curtail pesticide applications usually quote out dated studies and general population uses which include improper, illegal and over applications made by non trained persons. ( Just imagine some of the applications made by some bed bug sufferers).
They forget or don’t acknowledge that applications made by certified applicators
and technicians are made by trained persons who have received at least 30 hours classroom training, have passed at least two state exams, must continue to take continuing courses to maintain their certification and who must follow regulations and only use approved materials in accordance with approved labels.Keep in mind that these professionals are also trained in IPM and various non chemical control methods as well. An analogy might be prescription medications vs. over the counter medications.

2 nobugsonme June 7, 2007 at 1:21 pm


I gather you might feel part of the problem with DDT was that it was sold over the counter, and dumped wholesale from planes?

As an aside, could you tell us about Ficam, that you mentioned as a stopgap measure, now, for bed bugs, in the “58 states” comments? Thanks!

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