Rachel Carson turned the pest-control world upside down in 1962. In Silent Spring (Mariner), she documented how long-lived organochlorine pesticides, most notoriously DDT, were not only ridding croplands of insects, streets of mosquitoes, and homes of spiders but also exacting a high toll on songbirds and other nontargeted species. The chemicals' broad-spectrum potency and resistance to breakdown, advantages in their use against pests, emerged as hazards.
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