"Health costs and benefits of DDT use in malaria control and prevention"
Brian Blankespoor, Susmita Dasgupta, Abdelaziz Lagnaoui, Subhendu Roy, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 6203, September 2012.
Reintroducing DDT to control malaria makes sense in only a few high-malaria countries
The wider use of the pesticide DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloro-ethane) is being re-evaluated as a preventative measure against malaria-bearing mosquitoes in many malaria-ridden countries. However, indoor residual spraying raises concerns of potential harm to the environment and human health, mainly because of the persistence of the chemical in the environment and the bio-accumulative nature of DDT in the food chain. When the estimated adverse effects of DDT on human health (using treatment costs and indirect costs caused by illnesses and death in countries that use or are expected to re-introduce DDT) are compared to the estimated economic benefits from reduced malaria, the net gains are modest. At the global level where the total population exposed to DDT could be as high as 1.25 billion, the data indicate a significant reduction in the estimated $69 billion in 2010 U.S. dollars economic loss caused by malaria, but that it would be accompanied by an additional $28 billion a year in adverse health effects from increased use of DDT. Sub-Saharan African countries with high malaria incidence rates are likely to see relatively larger net benefits from the use of DDT in malaria control.