UCSB Scientist Discovers DDT Dumping Ground
By edhat staff
UC Santa Barbara scientist David Valentine discovered a DDT dumping ground off the California coast.
In a feature by the Los Angeles Times, Valentine was diving near Santa Catalina Island using a deep-sea robot when he followed sonar scans to 3,000 feet down to the seafloor.
He discovered leaking barrels filled with toxic chemicals.
There could be as many as half a million leaky barrels underwater right now, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) is a colorless, tasteless, and almost odorless crystalline chemical compound. It was originally developed as an insecticide but was banned in the United States in 1972 after poisoning birds and fish.
The nation's largest manufacturer of DDT was located in Los Angeles from 1947 to 1982. The Los Angeles Times reports the company disposed of toxic waste through sewage pipes that went into the ocean, following World War II thousands of barrels of toxic sludge were routinely dumped into the ocean, and in the 1980s barrels were punctured so they would sink before dropping them close to shore.
In 2011 and 2013, Valentine and his researchers collected samples that showed DDT concentrations 40 times greater than the highest DDT contamination recorded near Palos Verdes.
Read the full report at LaTimes.com.