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L’ombre toxique du moustique sur la ville. Hygiénisme municipal, reconstruction urbaine et accommodement aux risques

Abstract : Since the Inter-war period, mosquitoes have been seen as an obstacle for the economic attractiveness of the city of Lyon. The Bureau d’hygiène municipale (BHM, Municipal Hygiene Office) was given the task to fight their proliferation. In the Postwar, as many Lyon’s doctors and scientists were involved in international scientific networks, they facilitated the import and use of insecticides such as DDT. As this substance was becoming a symbol of modernity, the BHM convinced several of the city’s main economic actors of the relevance of mosquito control – from tourism industry (for whom mosquito eradication was an argument for the city’s attractiveness) to regional chemical companies which saw an opportunity to diversify their production. The BHM then organized mosquito control according to a military pattern in order to mobilize different categories of workers, from academics to municipal staff. The entire organization of mosquito control was then based on the use of insecticide products. The use of DDT was confirmed for a long time despite the growing media coverage of ecological and health alerts, as well as the emergence of several protests from farmers and beekeepers who questioned the relevance of the choice of a proven poison. Forthcoming. Renaud Bécot, « L'ombre toxique du moustique sur la ville. Hygiénisme municipal, reconstruction urbaine et accommodement aux risques », Stéphane Frioux (dir.), Une France en transition. Urbanisation, risques environnementaux et horizon écologique dans le second XXe siècle, Seyssel, Champ Vallon, 2020.
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Renaud Bécot. L’ombre toxique du moustique sur la ville. Hygiénisme municipal, reconstruction urbaine et accommodement aux risques. Une France en transition. Urbanisation, risques environnementaux et horizon écologique dans le second XXe siècle, A paraître. ⟨halshs-02876571⟩

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