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Lecture 1

OCEAN 320 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Rachel Carson

1 pages55 viewsSummer 2018

Department
Oceanography
Course Code
OCEAN 320
Professor
K.Robinson
Lecture
1

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Unit 1C: Chemical Pollution in Oceans
Pesticides-DDT
Pesticides were considered harmless (and even healthy) until 24 years after their creation
DDT is absorbed through insects’ feet, spreads through insects’ nervous system and shuts
them down, insect is paralyzed and killed
o Came in both powder and liquid forms
o Attracted insects, drew them to their deaths
DDT was sprayed on entire cities in massive quantities; meant to “protect” people from
polio-infected insects; sprayed in parks and streams
o Idealized as a life-saver
Increased dramatically in usage on farms, eventually became used often in suburbs
o Was government-supported
o Used both indoors and outdoors
Sprayed in bird sanctuary, and birds became obviously poisoned by it the same way
insects were
Rachel Carson, “Silent Spring” exposes DDT as dangerous and fatal chemical
o Created the argument that poison for small organisms will build up to affect larger
organisms
o Faced harsh opposition from both scientists and government, though questions
came up throughout press/public and scientists did not have answers
o “to these people, it seems the balance of nature was repealed as soon as man
came”
o Started the revolution against chemical pesticides; called for regulation and
research on the harmful effects of pesticides, which ultimately led to its demise in
legislation
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