California’s legacy of DDT waste: underwater dump site uncovers a toxic history


A team of scientists discovered tens of thousands of barrels containing what is believed to be chemical waste

The discovery of tens of thousands of underwater barrels containing what scientists believe to be chemical waste has raised alarm and reopened scrutiny into a history of toxic dumping that persisted off the California coast into the 1970s.

A team of scientists announced this week that they had found more than 25,000 containers, many of which they believe to be DDT waste, which has been linked to cancer and disease in humans and mass die-off events in the natural world. The barrels cover a seafloor area double the size of Manhattan off the coast of the Santa Catalina Island, near Los Angeles.

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