A persistent organochlorine insecticide, also known as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, that was introduced in the 1940s and used widely because of its persistence (meaning repeated applications were unnecessary), its low toxicity to mammals and its simplicity and cheapness of manufacture. It became dispersed all over the world and, with other organochlorines, had a disruptive effect on species high in food chains, especially on the breeding success of certain predatory birds. DDT is very stable, relatively insoluble in water, but highly soluble in fats. Health effects on humans are not clear, but it is less toxic than related compounds. It is poisonous to other vertebrates, especially fish, and is stored in the fatty tissue of animals as sublethal amounts of the less toxic DDE. Because of its effects on wildlife its use in most countries is now forbidden or strictly limited.
Scope note is not available.