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Bao Nguyen 10/06/14 Period 1 Ms.Ogo DDT Persuasive Essay During the 20th century, nearly 2 millions tonnes of DDT, a pesticide, was introduced on the Channel Islands. DDT was heavily promoted insecticide because it was harmless to human. It wasn’t until 1972 when a lawsuit caused the ban of DDT because it led to Bald Eagle’s near extinction. However, there is a controversy, DDT stopped the spread of Malaria by killing infectious mosquitoes, especially in Africa. Pro-DDT argues that it’s the only efficient and cheap way to stop Malaria. Taking everything into consideration, DDT should still be banned in order to prevent toxical accumulation, destruction of ecosystem and people; and the extinction of organisms. DDT caused several incident of dangerous biomagnification and killed many animals. For example, when DDT was introduced on Borneo Island to exterminate mosquitoes, the roaches ended up storing the chemical in their sacs. The poison continues to accumulate as it move up the food chain. Lizards started eating the roaches and became sluggish because of the poison. This made them more susceptible to cat who died from overdosing on the toxic. In fact, lizards and cats disappeared from Borneo after DDT was introduced. DDT’s defender might argue that sacrifices were needed to protect the islanders from Malaria. However, this is wishful thinking that animals such as lizards have no purpose in Borneo’s ecosystem. In reality, they controlled the caterpillar population, which bring us to the second point, survival of species is needed to maintain the equilibrium of an ecosystem. DDT causes damage to the environment and people by creating fluctuation in the ecosystem. The aforementioned dilemma with the dying lizards cause a decrease in diversity which hinders population control. The caterpillars thrived and chewed on roof’s pillar which made them collapse, thus displacing the inhabitants. Even more devastating is the cat’s declination which lead to an increase in rat population because there was no longer any predator to keep their population in check. Rat soon stampeded on the entire island, carrying a plague and spread it everywhere using huge population. DDT ironically saves people just to kill them later. Contention that DDT is harmless to human is misleading, DDT still devastates us because human depend on nature for survival. This havoc in ecology bring us to the subject of extinction, in other word, some species are more vulnerable to DDT. Species nearly incurred extinction after DDT entered their ecosystem. An obvious example would be the cat and lizard of Borneo. But on a greater scale, the Bald Eagle became a critically endangered species, with only 3 remaining eagles on the Channel Islands in the 1967. High concentration of DDT was found in the Eagles and their eggs. This further evidents the previously discussed problems with biomagnification, but more importantly, volatile chemical in DDT broke the eggs of Bald Eagles. Without a way to retain their population, Bald Eagles soon died out. Scientists even remedied the eggs in laboratory and rereleasing them in the far away Santa Cruz islands to avoid contact with DDT. Supporters of DDT would attribute their decline to hunting. Not to say that hunting is tolerable, but it wouldn’t have caused such a dramatic problem in the first place, if the Bald Eagles could safely breed to recover their population. To conclude, the negative ramification that DDT leaves on the environment far outweighed the benefits it provide to human. Deadly biomagnification lead to destruction of people and ecosystems, sometime bringing about extinction. The staggering evidences all conclude at the same ending, DDT only delay the inevitability of damage, and also causing damage on its own. Not to undermine the importance of stopping Malaria, I still submit that we find another solution because DDT isn’t the answer. I propose that we start spreading news about DDT, refute all DDT’s supporter whenever possible, and most definitely sign a petition to ban DDT in Africa. Remember, DDT says it will help, but it will torture you, people, and the environment.