A chemical dumping ground containing possibly tens of thousands of barrels of toxic chemical waste was discovered on Thursday, March 23, off the coast of Los Angeles. The primary chemical found was DDT, an insecticide harmful to humans at high doses.
DDT was used as an agricultural and household insecticide in the 1940s and to prevent the spread of illness in soldiers overseas during World War II. However, Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring found that DDT and other pesticides poisoned environments and harm humans. This research led to a ban on DDT, launching the anti-pesticide and anti-chemical movements in the U.S.
DDT is still used in other parts of the world to reduce the impact of malaria.