Multinational chemical companies ship thousands of tonnes of pesticides and many, like DDT and Aldrin, are banned in the country of origin. As pesticides are regulated in the producer countries, manufacturers with stockpiles and expensive production facilities increasingly look to the developing countries for markets. Pesticide production and storage facilities built in developing countries are also generally more hazardous. There are few security procedures and more frequent accidents. Such "offshore" toxic factories continue to flourish in countries like Mexico, India and Turkey, while there are specific cases of massive accidents from pesticide storage in countries like Niger, Cameroon and Senegal.
Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT), the first modern synthetic insecticide. It was introduced in the 1940s to fight malaria, typhus, and other insect-borne human diseases-and it was quite effective. The problem is that DDT turned out to have numerous adverse health impacts. Studies have linked DDT to:
Because of this, DDT was banned for agricultural use worldwide by the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and it is classified as a probable carcinogen by the United States and other international authorities.
A French agency dossier of 18 particularly toxic pesticides, many of which were banned for use in Europe but not by at least 14 African countries, where 99% of pesticide deaths occur. The pesticide Gramozone, for example, remains a significant cause of death in several countries. An 1990 FAO code of conduct which includes a list of pesticides that could not be exported without sufficient informing the recipient of the product's toxicity, is systematically violated. One clear breach is to put false markings on products to avoid control. It is thought that this type of illegal traffic accounts for some 20% of pesticides that reach the South.