“Silent Spring” – Update

Silent Spring” is an environmental science book written by Rachel Carson, and published on September 27, 1962, that documented the adverse effects on the environment by the indiscriminate use of pesticides.

Although “Silent Spring” was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, it spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy, and led to a nationwide ban on the use DDT for agricultural purposes.  It also inspired an environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

On May 1, 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that disease cases from infected mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas have tripled in the 13 years ending December 2016, the latest period for which complete data is available.  However, the CDC went on to report that the data show that the U.S. is seeing a steady increase and spread of tick-borne diseases, and an accelerating trend of mosquito-borne diseases introduced from other parts of the world.

The CDC attributes this increase to several factors.  Mosquitoes and ticks are increasing in number and moving to new areas.  Overseas travel and commerce are more common that ever.  New germs spread by mosquito and tick bites have been discovered and the list of nationally notifiable diseases has grown.

All comments and suggestions are welcome.

Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA