Bioremediation of DDT Essay

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Over 39 years have passed since the nationwide ban of a well-known pesticide, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) (1), yet it still has an important role in public health as well as the environment. DDT is a persistent toxin, having a long half-life of 2 to 15 years terrestrially and 150 years aquatically (as cited in 5). It was originally used in World War II to control malaria and yellow fever then became a main staple in pesticide control for crops. Because DDT was a highly effective pesticide for malaria it is still used in areas where the disease is prevalent. There is a mass of controversy surrounding the chemical and its continued use as governments try to find a balance between public welfare and the state of the environment. …show more content…
Other studies found that the pesticide was an endocrine disruptor chemical (EDC) (8), which controls hormones needed for functions such as metabolism, and growth (7), while other studies confirmed an increased chance of external urogenital birth defects (UGBD’s) in males born to women exposed to DDT by 33% (4).
This chemicals impact has given need to researches to discover a new way to remediate this toxin within the environment. Microorganisms and fungi have been discovered capable of breaking down DDT as well as its byproducts (DDD and DDE) that are just as dangerous for the environment. Pseudoxanthomonas species was a strain of organisms that demonstrated the most efficiency at remediating DDT out of soil. The microbe was then cultured in the lab and tested within many different environments to find optimum conditions. The experiment tested the effects of acidity, addition of compounds in soil, temperature, how much air was in the soil as well as different concentrations of the chemical. Under the addition of carbon as a nutrient the organism was highly effective removing 95% of DDT at a concentration of 20mg per liter of soil (9). Another bio-remediate is Gleophyllum traberum, a brown-rot fungus (2). The study concluded that the fungi can be used without further supplements in the soil, although the additive of an iron cation increased decomposition (2).
These findings are

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