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Transcript
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.