Rachel Carson's 1962 book, Silent Spring,
warned the world of the effects of dangerous
pesticides such as DDT. DDT is a long-
lasting poison that moves up the food chain
from microscopic life-forms to fish to birds
and, eventually, to humans. DDT was used
in marshes to control mosquitos and by
home-owners to control insects in their bac
yards. Scientists proved DDT was causing
eggshells of osprey and other birds, such as
eagles, to thin and crack, so many of the
offspring could not hatch. That information
was used on the witness stand in Long
Island, New York, and the spraying of
marshes was legally stopped in 1967. This
was the first time scientists had used the
courts to correct a wrong done to the
environment. The use of DDT was banned
nationwide in the United States in 1972, but
its use is still legal in many other places
including many countries in Latin America.
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