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January 18, 1965

Pesticide Storage: How Much Change?

Author Affiliations

Silver Spring, MD

JAMA. 1965;191(3):254. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080030098024

To the Editor:—  Hoffman et al, in reporting on "Pesticide Storage in Human Fat Tissue" in the June 1, 1964, issue (JAMA188:819), have tackled a most difficult type of comparison. They argue that there has been no significant increase in DDT concentrations in fat since studies were made by Laug et al in 1951.1 There are two major difficulties. First, Laug and co-workers assayed their fat samples by a colorimetric technique. This 1963 study used a very new gas chromatography method. Dale and Quinby2 report that falsely high results are obtained with the older method. Have Dr. Hoffman and associates worked out the ratio of results of their new method to those of the older method? Second, the populations are of dubious comparability. It is a peculiar conceit that values found close to home are representative of "the general population." Statistical sampling procedures are a must