DDT Around the World
“DDT is considered a possible human carcinogen” (Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) Factsheet | National Biomonitoring Program | CDC, 2017). The chemical targets the kidney, adrenal gland, nervous system, reproductive system, and liver in humans. Whether exposed through consumption, breathing, or touching contaminated products, most of the side effects can go away once exposure stops.
Personally, I do not have much connection to DDT poisoning. However, it drew my attention as a dangerous inhalant. Even though I live in a community with clean air, I still have difficulty breathing. Trying to imagine what it would be like to inhale poisons that can cause so much damage intrigues me.
In 1972 the EPA issued a cancelation order that banned the substance in the United states. In 2004, The Stockholm Convention on (since this is the first mention of POPS use the full name here and the acronym thereafter) POPs was created, limiting the use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) around the world. This treaty allows for DDT to be used to reduce the population of mosquitoes that transmit malaria. DDT is very effective in removing pests but can be very harmful to humans as well. Looking at the pesticide, it is usually best to use it only when necessary.
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