In today’s world, agricultural drugs have been blamed for various reasons. One of the most talked about is DDT. DDT is an insecticide that was widely used after World War 2. It has been about 50 years since its use was phased out in most countries. It is now used in some African countries.
Why it was withdrawn
DDT was withdrawn mainly for environmental reasons. It is quite persistent in the environment and also accumulates in fatty tissues. It moves from the lower layers of the food chain to higher layers. In this way DDT residues reach humans through food such as fish. Even today, several years after its withdrawal, residues are still found in breast milk.
How dangerous is DDT?
In general, research has shown that in small amounts it is not toxic to humans. In fact there are much more toxic drugs used on the market. However, animal studies have shown cancer from DDT residues. Therefore, according to the CDC it is also considered to have possible carcinogenic effects.
Why it has been used so much
Despite its terrible effects on the environment and organisms, DDT has provided a solution to a major problem for mankind. At the time, humanity was plagued by malaria. Too many people were losing their lives every day. The use of DDT treated the mosquitoes which were the carriers of malaria and as a result the disease was cured.
In conclusion, DDT was not abolished because it is toxic to humans. It was eliminated because of its bioaccumulation, its persistence in the environment, and its effects on some non-target organisms. However, because of its widespread use, millions of human lives were probably saved. Therefore, its importance in the flow of history is immense. In conclusion, the next time before blaming a new discovery, it is very important to realize that there are two sides to a coin.