According to old ship records, the area was used as a waste dump by industrial companies. This is how barrels full of bug venom can get into the water.

Researchers have warned that there are more than 25,000 barrels full of highly pathogenic insect venom (DDT) in the depths of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California.

From 10 to 24 March, researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography on the campus of the University of California, San Diego photographed 27,345 “barrel-like” subjects. Experts have mapped the ocean floor over an area of ​​more than 145 square kilometers between Santa Catalina Island and the coast of Los Angeles, an area where toxic substances have previously been detected in large quantities in sediments and ecosystems.

According to old shipping records, Southern California industrial firms used this ocean area as a landfill until 1972, when the relevant law went into effect.

However, the exact location and extent of the ocean dump is not yet known.

The researchers used high-resolution images of barrels 900 meters below the surface using underwater drones using acoustic radars. Eric Terrell, a fellow at the institute, said analyzing sediment samples taken from the area would be able to confirm whether there was indeed DDT in the barrels. It is estimated that 350 to 700 tons of pesticides could be “dumped” into the ocean in an area 20 kilometers from Los Angeles and 12 kilometers from Santa Catalina Island.

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According to experts, if the barrels do not leak, they can be transported to a place where they can be stored more safely. If it does leak, researchers must take samples of water, sediments and marine life to assess the extent of the damage. Specialists began looking for an underwater landfill in the ocean area where Professor David Valentine, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara campus, measured high levels of DDT in sediments and spotted 60 barrels nearly a decade ago. .

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