DDT

The history of DDT represents a significant example of the risks for humans every time they intervene on the environment without knowing inside out the balances of ecosystems. The insecticidal power of DDT was discovered in 1939 and, at the end of World War II, it was largely used in those regions where diseases transmitted by insects, such as malaria, typhus fever and yellow fever, were widespread. Moreover, once its usefulness was discovered in the fight against insects harmful for crops, it allowed to increase agricultural production in the immediate post-war period with a consequent rapid recovery of world economy. The problems related to DDT are given by its long decay times that maintain unaltered for years its toxic characteristics. By the time when this insecticide was banned and substituted by other substances, 25% had been carried by rainfall and rivers into the oceans while a great quantity was circulating in food chains.

Special reports

From the Multimedia section

  • water

    Map of water scarcity

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    water

    Availability of water resources

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    life

    Algae proliferation

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  • water

    Water and man

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    Water and sustainability

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    water

    Components of the water footprint

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  • air

    The polar bear will become extinct

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    life

    Algae living in heavily polluted

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    air

    Desertification

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  • water

    Map of water scarcity

    Look

    water

    Availability of water resources

    Look
  • life

    Algae proliferation

    Look

    water

    Water and man

    Listen
  • water

    Water and sustainability

    Listen

    water

    Components of the water footprint

    Look
  • water

    Map of water scarcity

    Look
  • water

    Availability of water resources

    Look
  • life

    Algae proliferation

    Look

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