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Lancet. 2001 Mar 31;357(9261):1014-6.

Chronic nervous-system effects of long-term occupational exposure to DDT.


Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) is a compound with moderate toxicity that is judged to be safe for occupational use, although little is known about its long-term effects on the human nervous system. We investigated chronic nervous-system effects of long-term occupational exposure to DDT by comparing the neurobehavioural performance of retired malaria-control workers with a reference group of retired guards and drivers. DDT-exposed workers did worse on tests assessing various neurobehavioural functions than controls; performance significantly deteriorated with increasing years of DDT application. Our results could not be explained by exposure to cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides or other potential confounding factors.

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