A recent article in the Federalist showed the ridiculousness of a popular television show’s vilification of chlorine. Chlorine helped to halt the spread of water-borne diseases, once an extremely common cause of death in the United States.
The article goes on to point out that “Chlorine has not only stopped the spread of water-borne diseases. Organochlorine insecticides, such as DDT, stopped the spread of insect-borne diseases.” Malaria is still a major killer in many countries, but DDT has helped to save a large number of lives from it.
Despite the numerous benefits humanity has reaped through use of chlorine and chlorine-based insecticides, it is unfortunately in vogue right now to distrust modern chemicals. The next time you encounter baseless distrust of science, point out the role that chlorine, DDT, and other modern chemicals have played in reducing disease and hunger.
Chelsea Follett is the managing editor of HumanProgress.org.