DDT

1939

DDT

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Paul Hermann Müller chemistry

DDT

Silent killer

Imbalance

In 1874, Othmar Zeidler first synthesized DDT, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, that is, 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethane, but Zeidler had not investigated its properties. Müller spent four years testing 349 compounds before he tested DDT.

Mosquitos infect over a quarter-billion people in South America, Asia, and Africa with malaria each year, and over a half-million die of it.

The parasite responsible for visceral leishmaniasis (black fever) attacks the internal organs and infects a half-million people each year. If untreated, it usually results in death. DDT is still used to control the sandfly whose larva carry this parasite.

See also in The book of science:

Readings on wikipedia:

Other reading: