Up to 25,000 barrels at DDT dump site in the Pacific

San Diego (AP) —Marine scientists have found 25,000 barrels of DDT dumped from the Southern California coast near Catalina Island, where there is a large underwater toxic waste site dating back to World War II. He said he had found it and was suspected for a long time.

27,345 “barrel-like” images were taken by researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. Mapped over 36,000 acres of seafloor between Santa Catalina Island and the Los Angeles coast in areas previously found to contain high levels. Of toxic chemicals in sediments and ecosystems.

According to historical shipping records, Southern California industrial companies used this basin as a dumping ground until 1972, when the Marine Protection, Research, and Protected Area Act (also known as the Ocean Dumping Act) was enacted. It was.

The exact location and extent of dumping was previously unknown, as it rests deep in the ocean.

The area was “amazing,” said Eric Terrill, chief scientist on the Scripps Institution of Oceanography expedition and director of the Institute of Physical Oceanography.

An underwater drone using sonar technology captured a high-resolution image of a barrel 3,000 feet (900 meters) below the surface of the water along the steep seabed under investigation. They were also seen beyond the limits of the dump site.

“It was a real surprise for everyone who processed the data and sailed at sea,” he told reporters on Monday.

According to Terrill, the study provides a “wide area map” of the barrel, but it is the responsibility of others to ensure that the container holds DDT through sediment sampling. Said. It is estimated that 350 to 700 tonnes of DDT have been dumped in an area 12 miles (20 km) from Los Angeles and 8 miles (12 km) from Catalina Island.

Scripps’ chemical oceanographer and professor of earth science, Richini Alwihare, co-authored a study in 2015 that discovered that band dolphin fat contained large amounts of DDT and other artificial chemicals. Stated. A dolphin that died due to nature.

“These results also raise questions about continued exposure and potential impacts on the health of marine mammals, especially in light of how DDT has been shown to have multi-generational effects on humans. I will raise it, “said Aluwhihare, who was not part of the expedition.

Diana Aga, a chemistry professor at the Buffalo University who is not involved in the study, said the findings were shocking if the barrel proved to contain toxic chemicals. “It’s a lot of DDT at the bottom of the ocean,” she said.

If the barrel isn’t leaking, the disposal can be moved to a safer place, Aga said. If they leak, scientists can take samples from water, sediments, and other marine life to measure damage.

Scientists conducted a survey from March 10th to 24th. Los Angeles Times Report About evidence that DDT was dumped into the sea last year.

“Unfortunately, the basin off Los Angeles has been a dumping ground for industrial waste for decades since the 1930s. Wide-area surveys have found extensive debris fields,” said Terrill.

Scientists began investigating where Professor David Valentine of the University of California, Santa Barbara discovered that DDT was concentrated and accumulated in sediments about 10 years ago and found 60 barrels. ..

High levels of DDT have been detected in marine mammals in the region, and this chemical is associated with sea lion cancer.

Los Angeles Times is Montrose Chemical Corp. of California, a manufacturer of DDT. I checked the shipping log from the disposal company that supports. Logs show that from 1947 to 1961, 2,000 barrels of DDT-laden sludge was dumped into the deep sea each month off Catalina, and other companies were dumped there until 1972.

Scripps researchers say they hope their research will support purification efforts.

The Sally Ride research vessel expedition included a team of 31 scientists, engineers, and crew operating 24 hours a day and two autonomous underwater vehicles.


San Diego Associated Press writer Elliot Spagata contributed to this report.