Insecticide whose 1972 ban led to the comeback of the bald eagle

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DDT.

Last seen on: NY Times Crossword 19 May 20, Tuesday

Random information on the term “DDT”:

The use of DDT in New Zealand was banned in 1989 due to negative environmental impacts.

DDT is an organochlorine insecticide that does not occur naturally. It is a persistent organic pollutant (POP) with a half life of 2–15 years. Concerns were raised about its use in the 1940s but the publication of Rachael Carson’s book Silent Spring was the catalyst leading to DDT being banned. DDT was first banned in Hungary in 1968 then in Norway and Sweden in 1970, the US in 1972 and the United Kingdom in 1984.

DDT was used extensively for agricultural use in the 1950s and 1960s to control grass grub and porina moth. It was also used on lawns and for market gardens. Some 500 tons was being applied annually by 1959. By the 1970s its use was restricted and it was finally banned in 1989.

There was increasing evidence, especially in the 1970s, that there were DDT residues in aquatic organisms including trout and eels. Being bioaccumulative DDT passes up the food chain and organisms at higher trophic levels end up with high concentrations of the pesticide.

DDT on Wikipedia