Synopses & Reviews
Elizabeth Grossman, an acclaimed journalist who brought national attention to the contaminants hidden in computers and other high tech electronics, now tackles the hazards of ordinary consumer products. She shows that for the sake of convenience, efficiency, and short-term safety, we have created synthetic chemicals that fundamentally change, at a molecular level, the way our bodies work. The consequences range from diabetes to cancer, reproductive and neurological disorders. Yet it's hard to imagine life without the creature comforts current materials provide — and Grossman argues we do not have to.
A scientific revolution is introducing products that are "benign by design," developing manufacturing processes that consider health impacts at every stage, and is creating new compounds that mimic rather than disrupt natural systems. Through interviews with leading researchers, Grossman gives us a first look at this radical transformation.
"Green chemistry aims to replace hazardous synthetic chemicals with chemicals that are "benign by design. Grossman's clarion exposé should give this lifesaving initiative a big boost." Booklist
"A tireless investigative journalist, [Grossman]expertly distills the science of green chemistry and the promise it holds for a healthier world." Paul R. Ehrlich, co-author of The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment
"Grossman has given us this chronicle of a field with a bright future, the green chemistry that will replace the crude methods of the 19th century with the smart ones of the 21st." Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and Deep Economy
About the Author
Elizabeth Grossman is the author of High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health, Watershed: The Undamming of America, and Adventuring Along the Lewis and Clark Trail. Her writing has appeared in Mother Jones, the Nation, Salon, the Washington Post, and other publications. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1 There’s Something in the Air
- Chapter 2 Swimmers, Hoppers, and Fliers
- Chapter 3 Laboratory Curiosities and Chemical Unknowns
- Chapter 4 The Polycarbonate Problem
- Chapter 5 Plasticizers: Health Risks or Fifty Years of Denial of Data?
- Chapter 6 The Persistent and Pernicious
- Chapter 7 Out of the Frying Pan
- Chapter 8 Nanotechnology: Perils and Promise of the Infinitesimal
- Chapter 9 Material Consequences: Toward a Greening of Chemistry
Epilogue: Redesigning the Future
Appendix: The Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry and Further Information