Resurrection of DDT : A critical appraisal

Dash et al | 01 Jul 2007
Indian Journal of Medical Research
1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis (p-chlorophenyl) ethane commonly known as DDT was synthesized by Othmar Zeidler in 1874, came to lime light with Paul Muller's discovery of its insecticidal properties in 1939. Induction of DDT during World War II registered spectacular success in Europe by eradicating human typhus transmitted by body lice. DDT was equally effective against malaria as in 1940s it had a decisive role in the eradication of malaria from Europe and United States. Thus, within a short span, DDT achieved a unique distinction of saving millions of lives by preventing disease outbreaks than any other man made chemical in history. In recognition Muller was awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1945. Similar success stories of near eradication of malaria were achieved in early 1960s in India and Sri Lanka.

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