DDT hasn’t been used in developing countries for decades. Now it causes lung infections?
A new report links remnants of a once-common pesticide to lung infections and wheezing in kids exposed to the chemical before birth.
Known as DDE, the compound is a broken-down form of the harmful pesticide DDT and is found in many places around the world. It is absorbed into a person’s body when they eat contaminated food or breathe contaminated dust.
The study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, shows babies exposed to high levels of DDE in the womb grew up to have higher rates of pneumonia and bronchitis.
“We found that the risk of infections and wheeze increased with increasing DDE exposure,” Martine Vrijheid, associate professor at the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Spain, told Reuters Health by email.
Here’s the study. It doesn’t actually “find” anything.
The statistical associations are weak and insignificant, the data self-reported and a credible biological explanation for how DDE could possibly cause respiratory tract infections is non-existent — and, of course, respiratory tract infections in infants are so common thath it is absurd to even attempt to attribute them to trace levels of a ubiquitous metabolite of a long-banned insecticide.