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Chemical Exposure of our Military Personnel

DDT
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DDT EXPOSURE

DDT is a complicated chemical (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane), whose chief ingredients are chlorine, alcohol and sulfuric acid. A German student named Othmar Zeidler first synthesized DDT in 1874. On the eve of World War II a Geigy chemist, Paul Muller, rediscovered the formula and found that it killed bugs. By 1942, the U.S. Department of Agriculture had begun to experiment with DDT, and soon uncovered DDT's immense military possibilities. (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,775033-2,00.html) It was used with great effect to combat malaria, typhus, and other insect-borne human diseases among both military and civilian populations. (http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/ddt/01.htm)

DDT is poison if swallowed. It may be harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Absorption is considerably enhanced by the presence of oils. It has human mutagenic effects and may cause reproductive damage. It may act as a systemic poison. The Department of Health and Human Services has determined that DDT may reasonably be anticipated to be a human carcinogen. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that DDT, DDE (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene), and DDD (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane) are possibly carcinogenic in humans. EPA has determined that DDT, DDE, and DDD are probably human carcinogens. (http://www.eco-usa.net/toxics/ddt.shtml)

DDT and its degradation products, particularly DDE, are stored in fat in the body, and this can lead to a total body load of chemical, which is potentially much greater than the fatal dose. This stored material is removed only gradually from the body. (http://ptcl.chem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/DD/DDT.html)

On December 31, 1972 the general use of the pesticide DDT was banned in the United States ending nearly three decades of application. It was determined that the continued massive use of DDT posed unacceptable risks to the environment and potential harm to human health. (http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/ddt/01.htm)

Slight excess risks for lung cancer were observed among workers at two DDT producing facilities in the USA. A nested case-control study in one of these investigations found a slight deficit of respiratory cancer. No other cancer occurred in sufficient numbers for analysis. In a prospective cohort study in which exposures were estimated on the basis of serum levels of DDT, the risk for lung cancer rose with increasing concentration but was based on small numbers. (http://www.inchem.org/documents/iarc/vol53/04-ddt.html)

 

Brief listing of synonyms for DDT variations.

 

Synonyms for para,para'-DDT

2,2-Bis(para-chlorophenyl)-1,1,1-trichloroethane

1,1-Bis(para-chlorophenyl)-2,2,2-trichloroethane

1,1-Bis(4-chlorophenyl)-2,2,2-trichloroethane

)- b,b,b-trichlorethane

para,para'-Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane

4,4'-Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane

para,para'-Dichlorodiphenyltrichloromethylmethane

2,2,2-Trichloro-1,1-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethane

1,1,1-Trichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethane

1,1,1-Trichloro-2,2-bis(para-chlorophenyl)ethane

1,1,1-Trichloro-2,2-bis(4,4'-dichlorodiphenyl)ethane

1,1'-(2,2,2-Trichloro-ethylidene)bis(4-chlorobenzene)

 

Synonyms for ortho,para'-DDT

2-(2-Chlorophenyl)-2-(4-chlorophenyl)-1,1,1-trichloroethane

1-Chloro-2-(2,2,2-trichloro-1-(4-chlorophenyl)ethyl)-benzene

1,1,1-Trichloro-2-(2-chlorophenyl)-2-(4-chlorophenyl)ethane

1,1,1-Trichloro-2-(ortho-chlorophenyl)-2-(para-chlorophenyl)ethane

 

Synonyms for para,para'-TDE

1,1-Bis(para-chlorophenyl)-2,2-dichloroethane

1,1-Bis(4-chlorophenyl)-2,2-dichloroethane

2,2-Bis(para-chlorophenyl)-1,1-dichloroethane

2,2-Bis(4-chlorophenyl)-1,1-dichloroethane

DDD

para,para'-DDD

4,4'-DDD

1,1-Dichloro-2,2-bis(para-chlorophenyl)ethane

1,1'-(2,2-Dichloroethylidene)-bis(4-chlorobenzene)

1,1-Dichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethane, dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethane

para,para'-Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane

para,para'-Dichlorodiphenyl-2,2-dichloroethylene

 

 

Synonyms for ortho,para'-TDE

Chloditan

1-Chloro-2-[2,2-dichloro-1-(4-chlorophenyl)ethyl]benzene

2-(2-Chlorophenyl)-2-(4-chlorophenyl)-1,1-dichloroethane

ortho,para'-DDD

1,1-Dichloro-2-(ortho-chlorophenyl)-2-(para-chlorophenyl)ethane

2,4'-Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane

 

Synonyms for para,para'-DDE

2,2-Bis(4-chlorophenyl)-1,1-dichloroethene

1,1-Bis(para-chlorophenyl)-2,2-dichloroethylene

2,2-Bis(4-chlorophenyl)-1,1-dichloroethylene

1,1'-(Dichloroethenylidene)-bis-(4-chlorobenzene)

1,1-Dichloro-2,2-bis(para-chlorophenyl)ethylene

1,1-Dichloro-2,2-di(4-chlorophenyl)ethylene

para,para'-Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene

 

Last updated: 20 November 1997 (http://www.inchem.org/documents/iarc/vol53/04-ddt.html)