Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
|Creator||United States Army|
|Context||World War II|
|Audience||The Office of the Surgeon General, Department of the Army|
|Purpose||To document the use of DDT|
DDT was a result of scientists' efforts during World War II to fight insect-transmitted diseases such as typhus and malaria that could infect American troops. In the 1930s, scientists discovered that a chemical substance called DDT not only exterminated insects, but also left a residue on surfaces that could exterminate pests for weeks. Both the German and American armies used DDT, and the U.S. Army used it to stop a typhus epidemic in Italy during December 1943. In the Pacific, the Allies used hand sprayers, such as the one pictured above, to spray troops. In Third World countries, DDT succeeded in controlling malaria. In 1944, the federal government sprayed DDT to reduce flies on a New Jersey island, but it significantly reduced the fish population. By 1950, there were enough examples of DDT's harmful effects that the Food and Drug Administration determined that it was "extremely likely that the potential hazard of DDT has been underestimated."