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Negative Results
June 1, 1964

Pesticide Storage in Human Fat Tissue

Author Affiliations


From the Chicago Board of Health; prepared under the direction of Samuel L. Andelman, MD, Commissioner of Health.

JAMA. 1964;188(9):819. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060350045012

IT IS WELL RECOGNIZED that traces of pesticides, retained on vegetables, fruits, and forage material, may be ingested either directly by man or by edible animals that are in turn consumed by man. The chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides are more likely than others to be biologically magnified in a food chain because of their relative stability and their solubility and persistence in animal fat. To investigate the nature and extent of the storage of chlorinated pesticides in human fat, analyses of fat specimens, obtained at autopsy from 282 persons who had died of various diseases, were carried out by the newly developed method of microcoulometric gas chromatography. The details of the method are described elsewhere.1 The results are summarized here.

Of the score or more of chlorine-containing pesticides that have been extracted and analyzed by this method, only two were consistently found in the human fat samples in concentrations of

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