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What is DDT among the following?
(A) An organic fertiliser
(B) A fertiliser
(C) Biodegradable pollutant
(D) Non-biodegradable pollutant

Last updated date: 19th Jul 2024
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Hint: DDT is readily adsorbed by the soil. DDT was banned in 1972 due to environmental concerns. DDT is present in plastic bags, polythene, silver foils.

Complete step by step solution:
- DDT is a short form of the chemical compound, Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane.

- DDT is a tasteless, colourless, almost odourless crystalline chemical compound.
- It was first synthesized by OthmarZeidler and its insecticidal action was found by Paul Muller.
- It was used as a method of control for malaria and typhus during World War II. It was effective in reducing malaria morbidity and mortality among civilians and troops.
- It was later banned due to its devastating impact on the environment.
- DDT is a persistent non-biodegradable organic pollutant that has a half-life of 22 days-30 years in soil and up to 150 years in aquatic environment.

-Hence, the answer is option (D) non-biodegradable pollutant.

Additional Information:
- The soil readily absorbs DDT which is a sink.
- DDT is harmful to a wide variety of living organisms, including marine organisms and various species of fish.
- DDT is considered by most to be a human carcinogen. But, DDT does not cause any human health effects in low environmental doses.
- DDT accumulation in birds causes egg shell thinning, which may pose a threat to the survival of the organism. This has the potential to even cause extinction in some bird species.

Note: - DDT is non-biodegradable. It is magnified through the food chain.The apex predators will hence have the highest concentration of chemicals compared to the other animals in that environment.