Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4


In mid 1987, the organochlorines (O/Cs) DDT, dieldrin, heptachlor and chlordane were deregistered for agricultural and horticultural use in Australia. These chemicals had been used widely, and land on several hundred Western Australian farms, particularly where potatoes had been grown, was contaminated with chemical residues. Livestock grazing pastures on such land was also contaminated, and our beef exports were threatened. In 1988, the Western Australian Department of Agriculture started a two-year project to collect information from sheep which were grazed on land that had previously been treated with O/Cs, particularly dieldrin. The levels of O/Cs in body and wool fats were monitored to obtain information on potential residues in export products.