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DDT (Ref: OMS 16)
Last updated: 27/11/2019
(Also known as: clofenotane; dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane; dicofane; chlorophenothane; NCI C00464)

SUMMARY
DDT is a banned organochlorine insecticide. It has a low aqueous solubility, is relatively volatile and has a low potential to leach to groundwater. It is highly persistent in soil and non-mobile. It is moderately toxic by the oral route in humans and other mammals but is a carcinogen and endocrine disrupter. It shows a high to moderate level of toxicity to most animals and insects although it is relatively non-toxic to birds
GENERAL INFORMATION
Description
An obsolete and banned insecticide that was used to control insect vectors of disease, especially malaria
Example pests controlled
Mosquitoes; Houseflies; Body lice; Colarado beetles; Gypsy moths
Example applications
Agricultural crops; Domestic houses; Offices, commercial and industrial situations; Non-cropped sites including roads, rights-of-way; parkland
Efficacy & activity
Not applicable
Availability status
Obsolete, Banned since 1972
Introduction & key dates
1944
UK regulatory status
UK approval status
Not approved
EC Regulation 1107/2009 (repealing 91/414)
EC Directive 91/414 Status
Not approved
Dossier rapporteur/co-rapporteur
Not applicable
Date inclusion expires
Expired
EU Candidate for substitution (CfS)
Not applicable
Listed in EU database
Yes
Approved for use (✓) or known to be used (#) in the following EU-27 Member States
ATAustria
BEBelgium
BGBulgaria
CYCyprus
CZCzech Republic
DEGermany
DKDenmark
EEEstonia
ELGreece
                 
ESSpain
FIFinland
FRFrance
HRCroatia
HUHungary
IEIreland
ITItaly
LTLithuania
LULuxembourg
                 
LVLatvia
MTMalta
NLNetherlands
PLPoland
PTPortugal
RORomania
SESweden
SISlovenia
SKSlovakia
                 
Also used in
Also used in
-
Chemical structure
Isomerism
Isomer mix containing roughly 75-85% p,p'-DDT, 10-15% o,p'-DDT and a small amount of o,o'-DDT. Any balance is comprised of transformation products dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDD).
Chemical formula
C₁₄H₉Cl₅
Canonical SMILES
C1=CC(=CC=C1C(C2=CC=C(C=C2)Cl)C(Cl)(Cl)Cl)Cl (for p,p'-DDT)
Isomeric SMILES
No data
International Chemical Identifier key (InChIKey)
YVGGHNCTFXOJCH-UHFFFAOYSA-N (for p,p'-DDT)
International Chemical Identifier (InChI)
InChI=1S/C14H9Cl5/c15-11-5-1-9(2-6-11)13(14(17,18)19)10-3-7-12(16)8-4-10/h1-8,13H (for p,p'-DDT)
2D structure diagram/image available?
Yes
Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre diagrams
Common Name Relationship Link
o,p'-DDT Isomer
DDT Unstated isomer
General status
Pesticide type
Insecticide
Substance group
Organochlorine
Minimum active substance purity
-
Known relevant impurities
-
Substance origin
Synthetic
Mode of action
Non-systemic stomach and contact action. Sodium channel modulator.
CAS RN
50-29-3
EC number
200-024-3
CIPAC number
3
US EPA chemical code
029201
PubChem CID
3036
Molecular mass
354.49
PIN (Preferred Identification Name)
1,1'-(2,2,2-trichloroethane-1,1-diyl)bis(4-chlorobenzene)
IUPAC name
1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethane
CAS name
1,1'-(2,2,2-trichloroethylidene)bis(4-chlorobenzene)
Other status information
WFD priority substance; Subject to PIC regulations; POP - regulated by Stockholm Convention; LRTAP Annex I; PAN Dirty Dozen; OSPAR soc; Marine Pollutant; Rotterdam Convention (Class II)
Relevant Environmental Water Quality Standards
EU Directive 2008/105/EC EQS for total DDT surface waters: annual average 0.025 µg l⁻¹
UK statutory standard for protection of aquatic life for inland, coastal & territorial surface waters: 0.025 µg l⁻¹ as annual mean conc
Herbicide Resistance Classification (HRAC)
Not applicable
Herbicide Resistance Classification (WSSA)
Not applicable
Insecticide Resistance Classification (IRAC)
3
Fungicide Resistance Classification (FRAC)
Not applicable
Examples of recorded resistance
Wide variety of insects are resistant, Aedes aegypti, Aedes vittatus, Amblyseius fallacis, Apis mellifera, many varieties of mosquito
Physical state
White crystalline powder
Related substances & organisms
Formulations
Property
Value
Example manufacturers & suppliers of products using this active now or historically
  • Hildit
  • Heliotox
  • Didigam
  • Dinocide
  • Digmar
  • Genitox
  • Pentachlorin
  • Rukseam
Example products using this active
  • King Tech
  • Hindustan Insecticides Ltd.
UK LERAP status
No UK approval for use as a pesticide under EC Regulation 1107/2009
Formulation and application details
DDT was available in many different formats including aerosols, dustable powders, emulsifiable concentrates, granules and wettable powders
ENVIRONMENTAL FATE
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Solubility - In water at 20 °C (mg l⁻¹)
0.006
Q3 Q = Miscellaneous internet resources
3 = Unverified data of known source
Low
Solubility - In organic solvents at 20 °C (mg l⁻¹)
1000000
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
Cyclohexanone
-
850000
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
Dichloromethane
-
770000
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
Benzene
-
600000
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
Xylene
-
Melting point (°C)
109
Q3 Q = Miscellaneous internet resources
3 = Unverified data of known source
-
Boiling point (°C)
185
L2 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
2 = Unverified data of unknown source
-
Degradation point (°C)
- - -
Flashpoint (°C)
- - -
Octanol-water partition coefficient at pH 7, 20 °C
P
8.13 X 1006 Calculated -
Log P
6.91
V3 V = ChemID online databases / IPCS INCHEM (ChemID; IPCS INCHEM )
3 = Unverified data of known source
High
Bulk density (g ml⁻¹)
0.99
Q3 Q = Miscellaneous internet resources
3 = Unverified data of known source
-
Dissociation constant pKa) at 25 °C
- - -
-
Vapour pressure at 20 °C (mPa)
0.025
G4 G = Extension Toxicology network database EXTOXNET (click here )
4 = Verified data
Low volatility
Henry's law constant at 25 °C (Pa m³ mol⁻¹)
8.43 X 10-01
V3 V = ChemID online databases / IPCS INCHEM (ChemID; IPCS INCHEM )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Moderately volatile
GUS leaching potential index
-3.89 Calculated Low leachability
SCI-GROW groundwater index (μg l⁻¹) for a 1 kg ha⁻¹ or 1 l ha⁻¹ application rate
Value
5.35 X 10-03 Calculated -
Note
Estimated concentrations of chemicals with Koc values greater than 9995 ml g⁻¹ are beyond the scope of the regression data used in SCI-GROW development. If there are concerns for such chemicals, a higher tier groundwater exposure assessment should be considered, regardless of the concentration returned by SCI-GROW
Potential for particle bound transport index
High Calculated -
Maximum UV-vis absorption L mol⁻¹ cm⁻¹
- - -
Surface tension (mN m⁻¹)
- - -
Degradation
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
General biodegradability
-
Soil degradation (days) (aerobic)
DT₅₀ (typical)
6200
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
Very persistent
DT₅₀ (lab at 20 °C)
2000
A3 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Very persistent
DT₅₀ (field)
- - -
DT₉₀ (lab at 20 °C)
- - -
DT₉₀ (field)
- - -
DT₅₀ modelling endpoint
- - -
Note
Best available data, PIC DGD; DT₅₀; Other sources: DT₅₀ 3 months in tropical regions, 4-30 years temperate regions.
Dissipation rate RL₅₀ on plant matrix
Value
6.0
R4 R = Peer reviewed scientific publications
4 = Verified data
-
Note
Published literature RL₅₀ range 1.6-10.8 days, 4 field crops, various matrices, n=5
Dissipation rate RL₅₀ on and in plant matrix
Value
20.2
R4 R = Peer reviewed scientific publications
4 = Verified data
-
Note
Published literature RL₅₀ range 3.4-44.0 days, 8 field crops, various matrices, n=13
Aqueous photolysis DT₅₀ (days) at pH 7
Value
- - -
Note
-
Aqueous hydrolysis DT₅₀ (days) at 20 °C and pH 7
Value
- - -
Note
-
Water-sediment DT₅₀ (days)
- - -
Water phase only DT₅₀ (days)
- - -
Soil adsorption and mobility
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Linear
Kd
-
G3 G = Extension Toxicology network database EXTOXNET (click here )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Non-mobile
Koc
151000
Notes and range
Log Koc given as 5.18
Freundlich
Kf
- - -
Kfoc
-
1/n
-
Notes and range
-
pH sensitivity
-
Key metabolites
Metabolite
Formation medium
Estimated maximum occurrence fraction
1107/2009 relevancy
DDE (Ref: HSDB 1625)
Soil - Not assessed under 91/414 or 1107/2009
DDD (Ref: ENT 4225)
Soil - Not assessed under 91/414 or 1107/2009
ECOTOXICOLOGY
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Bio-concentration factor
BCF (l kg⁻¹)
3173
F3 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
3 = Unverified data of known source
(Other literature Log BCF values range 1.9-5.5 (R3))
Threshold for concern
CT₅₀ (days)
Not available -
Mammals - Acute oral LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
113
A4 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
4 = Verified data
Rat
Moderate
Mammals - Short term dietary NOEL
(mg kg⁻¹)
-
L2 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
2 = Unverified data of unknown source
Rat 160 day
-
(ppm diet)
1 -
Birds - Acute LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
> 2240
G4 G = Extension Toxicology network database EXTOXNET (click here )
4 = Verified data
Anas platyrhynchos
Low
Birds - Short term dietary (LC₅₀/LD₅₀)
- - -
Fish - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
> 2.5
F4 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
4 = Verified data
Oncorhynchus mykiss
Moderate
Fish - Chronic 21 day NOEC (mg l⁻¹)
0.13
F4 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
4 = Verified data
Oncorhynchus mykiss
Moderate
Aquatic invertebrates - Acute 48 hour EC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
> 0.005
J4 J = Pesticide Action Network database (click here )
4 = Verified data
Daphnia magna
High
Aquatic invertebrates - Chronic 21 day NOEC (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Aquatic crustaceans - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Sediment dwelling organisms - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
> 0.0027
F3 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Chironomus riparius 1 day
High
Sediment dwelling organisms - Chronic 28 day NOEC, static, water (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Sediment dwelling organisms - Chronic 28 day NOEC, sediment (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Aquatic plants - Acute 7 day EC₅₀, biomass (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Non-target plants
- - -
- - -
Algae - Acute 72 hour EC₅₀, growth (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Algae - Chronic 96 hour NOEC, growth (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Honeybees (Apis spp.)
Contact acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
0.54
F4 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
4 = Verified data
Apis mellifera
High
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Unknown mode acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Bumblebees (Bombus spp.)
Contact acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
-
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
-
Mason bees (Osmia spp.)
Contact acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Other pollinators (1)
Acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg insect⁻¹)
0.556
R4 R = Peer reviewed scientific publications
4 = Verified data
Megachile rotundata
High
Mode of exposure
Contact
Other pollinators (2)
Acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg insect⁻¹)
0.0074
R4 R = Peer reviewed scientific publications
4 = Verified data
Nomia melanderi
High
Mode of exposure
Contact
Earthworms - Acute 14 day LC₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
> 1000
F3 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Eisenia foetida 56 day
Low
Earthworms - Chronic NOEC, reproduction (mg kg⁻¹)
280
F3 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Eisenia foetida as EC10
Low
Other soil macro-organisms
Acute LC₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Chronic NOEC (mg kg⁻¹)
176.0
R3 R = Peer reviewed scientific publications
3 = Unverified data of known source
Folsomia candida as EC10
-
Other arthropod (1)
LR₅₀ g ha⁻¹
- - -
% Effect
Moderately harmful
AB1 AB = SELECTV Database
1 = Estimated data with little or no verification
Typhlodromus pyri
-
Other arthropod (2)
LR₅₀ g ha⁻¹
- - -
% Effect
- - -
Soil micro-organisms
- - -
Mesocosm study data
NOEAEC mg l⁻¹
- - -
NOEAEC mg l⁻¹
- - -
HUMAN HEALTH AND PROTECTION
General
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Threshold of Toxicological Concern (Cramer Class)
High (class III) - -
Mammals - Acute oral LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
113
A4 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
4 = Verified data
Rat
Moderate
Mammals - Dermal LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹ body weight)
2510
L3 L = Pesticide manuals and hard copy reference books / other sources
3 = Unverified data of known source
Rat
-
Mammals - Inhalation LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Other Mammal toxicity endpoints
- - -
ADI - Acceptable Daily Intake (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
0.01
F5 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
JMPR 2001
-
ARfD - Acute Reference Dose (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
None allocated
F5 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
JMPR 2000
-
AAOEL - Acute Acceptable Operator Exposure Level (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
- - -
AOEL - Acceptable Operator Exposure Level - Systemic (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
- - -
Dermal penetration studies (%)
- - -
Dangerous Substances Directive 76/464
List I; List II - -
Exposure Routes
Public
-
Occupational
-
European MRLs
EU MRL pesticide database 
Drinking Water Standards
Non-statutory WHO drinking water guideline 0.001 mg l⁻¹
B5 B = UK CRD and ACP evaluation documents / and other Defra (UK) documents (click here )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
UK EA QS database 2018
-
Drinking Water MAC (μg l⁻¹)
- - -
Health issues
Specific human health issues
Carcinogen
Genotoxic
Endocrine disruptor
Yes, known to cause a problem
A3 A = Chromosome aberration (EFSA database)
3 = Negative
;
B0 B = DNA damage/repair (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
C0 C = Gene mutation (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
D0 D = Genome mutation (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
E2 E = Unspecified genotoxicity type (miscellaneous data source)
2 = Mixed/ambiguous results
Yes, known to cause a problem
Reproduction / development effects Acetyl cholinesterase inhibitor Neurotoxicant
Yes, known to cause a problem
XNo, known not to cause a problem
Yes, known to cause a problem
Respiratory tract irritant Skin irritant Skin sensitiser
?Possibly, status not identified
XNo, known not to cause a problem
No data found
Eye irritant Phototoxicant  
XNo, known not to cause a problem
No data found  
General human health issues
Highly toxic by ingestion, inhalation and via skin absorption
Strong links with breast and womb cancer
Endocrine issues - Competitive binding to androgen receptors
Handling issues
Property
Value and interpretation
General
No information available
CLP classification 2013
Health: H301, H351, H372
Environment: H400, H410
EC Risk Classification
Carcinogen category 3: R40
T - Toxic: R25, R48/25
N - Dangerous for the environment: R50, R53
EC Safety Classification
S1/2, S22, S36/37, S45, S60, S61
WHO Classification
II (Moderately hazardous)
UN Number
2761
Waste disposal & packaging
-
TRANSLATIONS
Language
Name
English
DDT
French
DDT
German
DDT
Danish
DDT
Italian
DDT
Spanish
DDT
Greek
DDT
Polish
DDT
Swedish
DDT
Hungarian
DDT
Dutch
DDT

Record last updated: 27/11/2019
Contact: aeru@herts.ac.uk
Please cite as: Lewis, K.A., Tzilivakis, J., Warner, D. and Green, A. (2016) An international database for pesticide risk assessments and management. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, 22(4), 1050-1064. DOI: 10.1080/10807039.2015.1133242