DDT is one
of the most common sources of a toxin that is a threat to organisms in a food chain. DDT is a threat because it affects the
nervous system. If DDT is accidentally swallowed in a large amount DDT can cause the person to become excitable, have Tremors
and seizures. In animals,
short-term exposure to large amounts of DDT in food affected the nervous system, while long-term exposure to smaller amounts
affected the liver. Also in animals, short-term oral exposure to small amounts of DDT can cause harmful affects in reproduction.
DDT that was exposed to
workers did not show any signs of DDT causing cancer however DDT exposed to animals showed that animals could develop liver
cancer. How DDT can end
up in a food chain is very simple. When DDT used extensively in the 1970’s it was used as a pesticide control as well
it was used to eliminate diseases such as malaria. DDT is white in colour and tasteless as well as odorless. When DDT entered
the environment for its use as pesticide it stuck to the soil and therefore a plant that grew out of the soil might have had
a very little concentration of DDT but as a result animal that ate that plant had a concentration of DDT higher of that than
the plant. As this process keeps on repeating the animals in the high trophic levels which
consume an organism containing DDT are more at risk of having problems in the nervous system or in more severe cases death.
One good thing about DDT is that the DDT that is in the air is broken down by sunlight. Also only very little amounts of DDT
will dissolve in groundwater as they do not dissolve easily in water.