May 11, 1970

Evaluation of the Present Status of DDT With Respect to Man

JAMA. 1970;212(6):1055-1056. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170190069011

Because of the great concern expressed by physicians, legislators, scientists, conservationists, and others, the Council on Occupational Health and the Council on Environmental and Public Health of the AMA reviewed the DDT problem with as much realism as is possible. In this regard, the two Councils believe that certain facts have been established. For instance:

  1. DDT, when absorbed in doses or concentrations exceeding certain limits, is toxic. In man and other mammals DDT's primary effects are on the liver and central nervous system.

  2. Extensive studies by several investigators have shown that a small concentration of DDT and its metabolites is present in the fatty tissues of many people in all walks of life. However, there has been no significant increase in the storage of DDT by the general population in the United States since it was first measured in 1950. Pesticide handlers who have been studied with great