In the Pacific war, troops were also exposed to tropical diseases, as well as the potentially harmful chemicals used to control them. This added to the enormous toll in those serving in this arena. Diseases included malaria, dengue fever, typhus and cholera. In northern New
Guinea, the military used DDT – now recognised as possibly carcinogenic and banned in many countries – to control malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Clothing was impregnated with dibutyl phthalate which repels the mites that spread typhus, and soldiers were required to rub this into their own clothes. It is now recognised that exposure to this chemical can have toxic consequences.