Pesticides' global threat
Steve Connor is the Science Editor of The Independent. He has won many awards for his journalism, including five-times winner of the prestigious British science writers’ award; the David Perlman Award of the American Geophysical Union; twice commended as specialist journalist of the year in the UK Press Awards; UK health journalist of the year and a special merit award of the European School of Oncology for his investigative journalism. He has a degree in zoology from the University of Oxford and has a special interest in genetics and medical science, human evolution and origins, climate change and the environment.
Saturday 30 September 1995
A study of 200 samples of tree bark gathered from 90 sites has revealed up to 22 different organochlorines used in pesticides. Some of the pesticides, such as DDT, have been found in countries that have banned them for years. The researchers believe the distribution shows that some are still being transported over vast distances from their original dumping sites.
Staci Simonich and Ronald Hites, of Indiana University, whose analysis is published in the journal Science, said: "Understanding the environmental fate of these compounds is particularly important because some of them are carcinogens and some may be oestrogen [the female hormone that could be responsible for the dramatic fall in male fertility] mimics.''
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