Health Editor’s Note: DDT has been banned for use in the U.S. since 1972. Where did the barrels of DDT go? Why, apparently they were dumped into the ocean by their producer, Montrose Chemical Corp. Between 1947 and 1961, 767 tons of DDT were potentially tossed into the ocean. Good Grief! How could this happen and what will be done to correct this evil act?…..Carol
by Elizabeth Gamillo/Smithsonianmag.com
After Los Angeles Times’ environmental reporter Rosanna Xia exposed an old DDT dumping ground in an investigative report in October 2020, scientists and policymakers gathered together to map out the extent of the disaster littering the ocean floor.
Last week, a team of 31 scientists and crew members aboard the oceanographic research vessel Sally Ride, kicked off a two-week expedition to survey 50,000 acres of the ocean floor, reports the LA Times. Prompted by the investigation, the team was assembled in just five months—it usually takes up to two years to plan a deep-sea expedition.
Aiding in their search are two remote-operated robots that use sonar to scan the seafloor, sort of like “underwater Roombas,” as project lead Eric Terrill of UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography tells the LA Times‘ Xia. Instead of scanning a carpet for debris, these robots are seeking out thousands of barrels of DDT to help researchers create a detailed map of where each item is.
“We want to provide a common base map of what’s on the seabed at a high enough resolution,” Terrill tells the LA Times.