Melting Antarctic glaciers may be releasing DDT, says study
Adélie penguins in the Antarctic are as chock-full of pesticide DDT as they were in the 1970s, even though global DDT use has dropped 80 percent in the past three decades, says new research published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. Researchers speculate that climate change is at fault — honestly, is there anything climate change is not mucking up? — as concentrations of the pesticide that had been trapped in ice are released by glacial melt and travel up the food chain. DDT has been banned in the northern hemisphere, but the World Health Organization has endorsed its controlled use to fight malaria in Africa. The purpose of the study “was not to further vilify DDT,” says lead author Heidi Geisz, but to research how persistent the pesticide and other pollutants of its ilk can be.