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Journal Article 
Environmental Issues: Organic Pollutants 
Ochiai, E; , 
Springer Berlin Heidelberg 
Berlin, Heidelberg 
Chemicals for Life and Living 
DDT is an acronym for dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane, but should be named more precisely as 2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-1,1,1-trichloroethane (see Fig. 16.1 for its structure). A German chemist, Othmar Zeidler synthesized this compound in 1874 while he was pursuing his PhD. And it had remained as that, a new synthesized compound, for a quite while. Carl Müller of J. R. Geigy (a Swiss Pharmaceutical company, now Chiba-Geigy) discovered in his pursuit of insecticides that the compound synthesized by O. Zeidler was extremely toxic to houseflies. Numerous tests were conducted, and the compound DDT was found to be an excellent insecticide. Besides it is cheap to make. This was the time when the World War II was raging. DDT was then used to control lice on soldiers on the front. In earlier wars, more soldiers died of typhus (born by louse) than by bullets. The WWII was really the first war in history where more soldiers died actually from bullets than the louse-born disease, thanks to DDT. DDT was then considered to be a savior to control many kinds of harmful pests. C. Müller was awarded a Nobel prize in 1948.