The Dangers of DDT

In Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring she explains how DDT  was a chemical used in many pesticides. Even forty years later after it was banned in the U.S , we still live with its long lasting effects. One of the saddest and most brutal effects is the loss of ATP molecules in birds eggs because of the overwhelming application of DDT molecules. Baby chicks fail to develop because their fertilization process becomes interrupted by the poison of the DDT molecules. The baby chick eggs have to be able to produce ATP molecules to get the baby chicks to term and hatch. If the ATP molecules cannot reach the mitochondria within the cell then the cell cannot begin to divide and carry the embryo to produce a new born baby chick. The baby chick will die if the egg cells will not divide and produce enough cells. “The fires of life that flickered for a few days now extinguished” (Carson 206). It is so sad that the effects of DDT are damaging the beautiful life of our environment, leaving eggs of many types of bird eggs cold and lifeless. Farmers and gardeners need to stop using harmful pesticides that could spread and ruin the oxidation process of the baby chick eggs. “Knowing that DDT and other (perhaps all) chlorinated hydrocarbons stop the energy-producing cycle by inactivating a specific enzyme or uncoupling the energy-producing mechanism, it is hard to see how any egg so loaded with residues could complete process of development” (Carson 206). Knowing that the effects of DDT are able to end life, why do people in our society still use harmful pesticides? It will only be a matter of time before more species of animals experience a large impact on deaths at birth because of DDT. Not only animals, but humans will also suffer greatly if the spread of the poisons continues to spread. If we cannot stop using these harmful poisons on our environment, the cells could stop producing altogether and become malignant. We are at risk for causing damage to chromosomes and causing mutations to many species including our own. If our society does not find a new way to keep our environment free of harmful pesticides we will be forced deal with the life ending consequences. We must be able to come together and raise awareness of the many issues we have developed because of the use of DDT. Taking a look Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring is the perfect way to understand the cause and effect of these issues, and how to take the best steps in preventing anymore long term damage to our environment.



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