Published On: Mon, Dec 10th, 2012

Silent Snow

The Invisible Poisoning of the World

The effects of DDT pesticide / HealingTalks

(HealingTalks) The Inuits of Greenland thrive in one of the Earth’s most barren regions: the Arctic. Now, however, the land they have lived on for thousands of years is turning against them. DDT and other toxic chemicals enter their environment through ocean currents and falling snow. The effects on the Inuit community are devastating. They are being plagued by instances of cancer and infertility. Woman who hope to have children are instructed to not adhere to a traditional Inuit diet as the meats are contaminated.

An Inuit Woman Looking For Answers

For Pipaluk Knudsen-Ostermann, an Inuit woman, the threat of DDT is imminent and terrifying because Pipaluk dreams of becoming a mother. Even if she is able to become pregnant, the risk of having a child with DDT related illnesses is astronomical. For this reason, Pipaluk decided to explore the effects of toxic chemcials throughout the world in her critically acclaimed documentary “Silent Snow: The Invisible Poisoning of the World.”

Pipaluk met many women in a similar quandary. She spoke with a woman in India about the risk of having a child, yet wanting desperately to be a mother. In Africa, a woman told how she was arrested for not allowing men to spray her home with DDT, which is used to prevent malaria. The people of Africa fall between a rock and a hard place. Malaria is still an epidemic that kills thousands of people, but DDT causes (among other things) infertility and impotence.

 

You can see Silent Snow as a short film or full length documentary here. The short film focuses on the issues in Greenland while the full film continues on to explore the similar problems in the rest of the world.

Lasting effects

Although the Stockholm Convention banned the use of DDT, it is still widely used illegally. In the Arctic, the chemicals have settled into the glaciers, so problems will persist even if DDT is never used again. Furthermore, with global warming accelerating the melting of glaciers and releasing DDT, it is only spreading faster.

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