Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring (1962) enlightened the world about the effects of the massive use of DDT. Regulations on DDT were issued soon after the book went viral. By 1972, DDT was banned in the United States and other countries followed suit.
Today, the use of DDT is banned in many countries around the world. However, even though DDT is banned, it is still used in emergency conditions due to its effectiveness in controlling diseases such as malaria.
In Uganda (till 2011), high malaria cases are still controlled with DDT. As a result of the agriculture there, farmers in Uganda who are famous for their organic crops are indicated to be contaminated with DDT. Europe as the main market for Ugandan farmers did not buy their crops.
Not much different from Uganda, Indonesia also used DDT in malaria control. Until 1990, Indonesia stopped using DDT and switched to other pesticides that contained fewer toxic chemicals.
After decades of DDT prohibition in Indonesia, DDT residues are still found in the soil in amounts that exceed the maximum residue level. This is due to DDT’s persistent chemical substance that is difficult to degrade. DDT takes tens to hundreds of years to degrade depending on climate and soil conditions.