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Article
August 28, 1948

PESTICIDES: CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS OF FOODS

JAMA. 1948;137(18):1604-1605. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890520036015
Abstract

The development and use of new pesticides and herbicides have created public health hazards. Studies indicate that already many constituents of the American diet may be contaminated with materials of unknown toxicity used to destroy insect pests or weeds.

The insecticides include those materials which have been long in use such as lead arsenate, nicotine and fluorine compounds, and new materials, about which little is known, such as the organic phosphates, chlordan and many others, and DDT, which is probably intermediate between the other two.

The brands of new insecticides, fungicides and herbicides (weed killers), now on the market or contemplated, number several thousand. The rapidity with which this industry has added new basic materials since the introduction of DDT is phenomenal.

The Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry and the Council on Foods and Nutrition are deeply concerned over this situation because so little is known about either the acute

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