Workers Spray a Toxic Mist of Now-Banned Chemical All Over Georgia Town

Pesticide application in the garden. It refers to the practical way in which pesticides (including herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, or nematode control agents) are delivered to biological targets

Workers Spray a Toxic Mist of Now-Banned Chemical All Over Georgia Town

It is shocking what now-banned chemical solutions were used for pesticides years ago. DDT insecticide made life seem breezy in Columbus, GA. Sometimes when looking back at history, it can inspire a sense of horror or surprise. I think you’ll agree when seeing the shocking footage of the now-banned chemical sprayed in today’s list.

A Wartime Marvel

now-banned chemical
The insecticide was coupled with good old-fashioned manual labor to get Columbus up to snuff.

While DDT is a now-banned chemical, it was seen as a scientific breakthrough in the post-war years. While it served admirably in foreign theaters like Okinawa and Korea, it was time for this “miracle” to come home to the United States.

Georgia’s Gift

now-banned chemical
While the use of harsh and poisonous chemicals isn’t a strange concept in war, spraying it at home is something else.

The now-banned chemical was centered around one small county in Georgia. At the heart of this initiative was Columbus, Georgia, a town home to around 20,000 homes, farms, and businesses.

The Cleanest City in America

now-banned chemical
At least there was a focus on cleanliness in Columbus, I suppose.

Columbus, Georgia embraced the now-banned chemical to improve its cleanliness. To this end, DDT was sprayed anywhere you can imagine. This was done well before the impact of insects on local ecology was understood.

Clearing the Fields

now-banned chemical


enerally, I support any initiative to clean up your environment.

Beyond spraying the now-banned chemical, there were steps taken to clear the fields of debris and rubble. Quite a bit of trash was removed from the fields and vacant lots around Columbus, so cleanliness was at least achieved.

Spraying Livestock

now-banned chemical
Since DDT was sprayed on everything, dairy cows were fair game.

I can only look at these men spraying this now-banned chemical on cows with a sense of horror. DDT can contaminate milk as well as burn the skin of the cows. The toxicity of this compound wasn’t yet understood.

A Serious Lack of Safety

now-banned chemical
Obviously, the disregard for safety extended to the poor camera operator in this still.

I have to wonder what was going through the heads of the folks spraying this now-banned chemical all over the place. You don’t see any respirators and the like on the faces of the men spraying this around. Sadly, it was just a product of the time.

What Got Sprayed?

In contrast to most pesticide use, DDT seems to have leveraged an almost military rollout to American cities.

So, what all ended up getting sprayed with DDT? Just about everything it would seem. The now-banned chemical ended up near sources of water, food, and liberally sprayed around the airways of folks who just happened to be using the spray tanks.

Columbus’ Goal

Compared to other cities in the post-war era, it seems Columbus genuinely wanted to do better.

While Columbus was looking to be spic and span, it seems the now-banned chemical was the heart of this plan. I can only imagine the damage done to this community. DDT can raise the risk of cancer and heart issues.

A Good Even Coat

Instead of exercising care when spraying this chemical, it just went everywhere.

I just have to marvel at these men spraying everything down with liberal coats of DDT. It seems like at some point they’d feel some sort of effect from the chemical being near their airways. That said, the damage is done to Columbus, GA.

Not Even the Sewers Are Safe

Obviously, spraying DDT into something like your sewer system isn’t a great idea.

Insects can live in sewers, that’s a fact. However, I have to wonder what the efficacy of spraying down the manholes of your town with DDT accomplishes. It seems a waste just to dust everything possible with the chemical.

A Proud Proclamation

While cleaning up your city is a great idea, using a horribly toxic chemical maybe isn’t the best thing to boast about.

The intro card of this footage proudly proclaims a whole town being cleansed with DDT insecticide. It seems less like a triumph and more like a warning looking back, especially with a modern understanding of the effects of this insecticide on living creatures.

See the Now-Banned Chemical in Action

Finally, you can view this footage in our presentation of some classic newsreels.

If you’d like to see this footage, you can view it here. It is part of a larger newsreel that acts as a window into the world of yesteryear. Not all of the segments inspire quite as much horror as a small Georgia town going wild with DDT.

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