Publication date: Sep 20, 2023
Pesticides are widely used in agriculture and disease control, and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) is one of the most used pesticides in human history. Besides its significant contributions in pest control in agriculture, DDT was credited as having saved millions of human lives for controlling malaria and other deadly insect-transmitted diseases. Even today, the use of DDT in some countries for malaria control cannot be replaced without endangering people who live there. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives and reminded us of the challenges in dealing with infectious diseases, especially deadly ones including malaria. However, DDT and its metabolites are stable, persist long, are found in almost every corner of the world, and their persistent effects on humans, animals, and the environment must be seriously considered. This review will focus on the history of DDT use for agriculture and malaria control, the pathways for the spread of DDT, benefits and risks of DDT use, DDT exposure to animals, humans, and the environment, and the associated human health risks. These knowledge and findings of DDT will benefit the selection and management of pesticides worldwide.