Demanding Clean Food and Water: The Fight for a Basic Human by Joan Goldstein

By Joan Goldstein

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Extra resources for Demanding Clean Food and Water: The Fight for a Basic Human Right

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As far back as 1938, at an entomology conference held in Berlin, Germany, A. J. Nicholson presented a paper on the indirect effects of pesticides. 1 As might be expected, the few farm workers who sprayed pesticides did so without knowledge of the potential harmful effects on their own health. Without necessary protection of their skin and respiratory systems, the farm workers could be poisoned due to their heavy and continuous exposure to pesticides. But the number of victims reported when an incident was first noted was largely overlooked.

We would joumey forward into the 1960s before the public would even begin to suspect the dangers inherent in this new way of life. CHAPTER TWO A Voice in the Wilderness Fairly early on, the potential harmful effects of pesticide use was brought to the attention of a very small, select group of scientists. As far back as 1938, at an entomology conference held in Berlin, Germany, A. J. Nicholson presented a paper on the indirect effects of pesticides. 1 As might be expected, the few farm workers who sprayed pesticides did so without knowledge of the potential harmful effects on their own health.

The shells had become thin and would crack easily, long before the chicks were ready for hatching. As a result, new life was cut off before birth. Strong evidence of DDT presence could be found in the shells of the unborn chicks of those predatory birds highest on the food chain. It was these birds, the eagles, the ospreys, and the pelicans, who ate contaminated insects, smaller birds, and fish and therefore imbibed and retained heavy doses of DDT. With this evidence, DDT was finally proven unfit for further use to many skeptics.

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