Fumio Matsumura

University of California, Davis

DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) is an old insecticide that has been banned from use in most countries of the world since the 1970s. However, DDT, its metabolites, and some of its derivatives, which are mostly produced as impurities in technical insecticide preparations, still contaminate the environment. DDT residues continue to cause deleterious biological effects, most notably, environmental endocrine disruptions.

From the viewpoint of environmental toxicology and chemistry, DDT is by far the best-studied chemical. Many models of bioaccumulation, atmospheric transport, transfer mechanisms within soil compartments, and from soil to air, and soil to water are based on data generated from studies of DDT residues in the environment.

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