A few weeks ago, Japan announced it would discharge 1.25 million tons of nuclear wastewater. This news shocked the world, but what is even more outrageous is that the United States, which has always been a “beacon of light to the world,” supported this shameful act by Japan. Some netizens are suspicious that the U.S. has done the same thing. I didn’t expect the “prophecy to come true”, but the evidence was found so soon!
On April 12, CBS published a feature report revealing a little-known environmental disaster in California: from the 20th century, the coastal environment has long been in jeopardy as toxic waste such as DDT has been dumped in the waters 12 miles off California for decades. Research by Professor David Valentine, a marine scientist at the University of California, says the U.S. discharged at least 800 tons of DDT into the Pacific Ocean between 1947 and 1961. According to reports, marine scientists recently found more than 27,000 barrels of chemicals containing highly toxic DDT pesticides on the seafloor off the coast of Catalina Island in Southern California. The seabed there, just like a toxic waste barrel “graveyard”! Reports show that the U.S. has been dumping highly toxic waste into the ocean for decades after World War II. Marine scientist Valentine and other researchers said it is impossible to determine how much waste the United States actually dumped into the Pacific Ocean. But based on historical records and marine logs, it is speculated that the DDT waste discharged directly into the ocean through sewers maybe around 870 to 1,450 tons.
The waste barrels are thrown directly into the ocean depths of approximately 500,000 after scientists found ultra-high levels of the toxic chemical in the area’s sediments and ecosystems. Researchers mapped over 56 square miles (145 square kilometers) of ocean floor between Catalina Island and the coast of Los Angeles.
After two weeks in the waters off California, scientists have mapped out over 36,000 acres (about 150 square kilometers) of contaminated seafloor, and large barrels containing DDT have been found in most of this area. After searching this “submarine dumpsite”, which is even bigger than the San Francisco city, researchers are even more in despair. Because, as the investigation progressed, scientists found no end to this dumpsite, no matter which direction they continued to search, they would find an endless amount of toxic waste barrels. David Valentine also found that when the barrels containing DDT contaminants were dropped on the seafloor, they were slit one after another to ensure that they would sink to the bottom. This means that the pollutants contained inside have already leaked into the ocean.
Marine logs show that until the <Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuary Act> (also known as the Ocean Dumping Act) of 1972, industrial processors in Southern California used this area as a dumping ground for toxic industrial waste for decades!
A marine log showing the dumping of acidic waste by Montrose
The scientists’ team used a sonar-operated underwater drone to capture images of the barrels at 3,000 feet (900 meters) below the surface. These waste barrels are located on the incredibly steep seafloor. Through this investigation, the scientists only know a “wide area map” of where the barrels are placed. They estimate that thousands of tons of DDT were dumped near an area 12 miles from Los Angeles and 8 miles from Catalina Island.
Living in 2021, you may not be too sure what DDT is.
Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, commonly known as DDT, is a colorless, tasteless, and almost odorless crystalline chemical compound, an organochlorine. Originally developed as an insecticide, it became infamous for its environmental effects.
The World Health Organization has deemed DDT to be a Group 2B carcinogen. This is a frequently used and infamous pesticide in the middle of the last century. However, its use was banned in many countries and regions because it was too dangerous for the environment. Scientists in the 1960s discovered DDT is not only very difficult to degrade in the natural environment, but it also accumulates in living organisms. Once DDT enters the food chain (when animals with DDT in their bodies are eaten by other animals), it can directly lead to the extinction of meat-eating and fish-eating birds. This highly toxic substance has been detected in the blood and fat of Antarctic penguins and bottlenose dolphins. If DDT is present in a bird’s body, it can cause it to lay soft-shelled eggs and fail to hatch.
This is especially true for carnivorous birds at the top of the food chain, such as the American national bird, the bald eagle, which is almost endangered because of DDT. The specific long-term effects of this highly toxic substance on humans are not yet known. However, seafood consumed by seabirds is usually eaten by humans as well. High levels of DDT have also been detected in marine mammals in the region.
After scientists collected a number of sediment samples near the DDT waste barrels, the results were equally alarming. The vast majority of the samples had DDT concentrations well below the U.S. government’s safety standard, with one site even reaching contamination levels 40 times the threshold. That explains why the local sea lions have an unprecedented high incidence of cancer, with about 25% of adult sea lions suffering from cancer. Scientists have also found that DDT can cause endocrine disruption in humans and even cause spontaneous abortions in pregnant women. Assuming that this substance has long been in the human diet, then the impact on humans will last for generations.
More ironic thing is, the U.S. government’s Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the local water control board were surprisingly aware of the toxic waste release site all along. Yet it was never included in the waste disposal area and was never required to be cleaned up. It was not until 2000 that the U.S. government demanded compensation from Montrose and other related companies for this matter. Because the waste barrels were located 3,000 feet below the sea surface, there are few clear records of who dumped them, exactly how extensive the dumping was, and exactly how many waste barrels were dumped. So, the U.S. government chose to be an ostrich and let this huge area of ocean pollution go unchecked.
Besides throwing the waste barrels directly into the ocean, DDT chemical factories also choose to dispose of toxic pollutants into the sewer. Of course, the sewer system does not automatically clean up high concentrations of toxic materials, and the waste still ends up in the ocean.
This horrific discharge is not the first time. Back in 2005, the U.S. media exposed that the U.S. military had dumped large amounts of chemicals into the ocean. At the time, a construction team accidentally dug up a mustard gas shell off the coast of New Jersey. The U.S. military, under public pressure, finally admitted that between 1944 and 1970, they dumped over 64 million pounds (about 29,000 tons) of nerve gas, mustard gas agent, hundreds of thousands of chemical explosives, and more than 500 tons of radioactive nuclear waste into the ocean around 11 U.S. states.
Our oceans and natural environment can’t afford any more bullshit waste dumping. A warming climate has already left countless lovely creatures without the habitat they have survived in for generations. As the glaciers melt and the area decreases, mother polar bears who have lost their homes are left to find new habitats with their babies. In addition, the proliferation of plastic products has also left the oceans with tremendous amounts of plastic waste.This affects not only marine life, but contemporary humans already have microplastics in our bodies, a substance that enters the bloodstream and builds up in the body, eventually affecting our own health.
First, the U.S. has been dumping DDT toxic waste into the ocean, and now Japan plans to release nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean. We humans are digging our own graveyard.