Environmental Engineering

Download Chasing Molecules: Poisonous Products, Human Health, and the by Elizabeth Grossman PDF

By Elizabeth Grossman

Each day, headlines warn that child bottles are leaching risky chemical substances, nonstick pans are inflicting infertility, and plastic bins are making us fats. What if eco-friendly chemistry may well switch all that? What if instead of toxics, our economic climate ran on innocuous, environmentally-friendly materials?
Elizabeth Grossman, an acclaimed journalist who introduced nationwide awareness to the contaminants hidden in pcs and different excessive tech electronics, now tackles the dangers of normal client items. She exhibits that for the sake of comfort, potency, and momentary defense, now we have created man made chemical compounds that essentially swap, at a molecular point, the way in which bodies paintings. the implications diversity from diabetes to melanoma, reproductive and neurological disorders.
but it’s difficult to visualize existence with no the creature comforts present fabrics provide—and Grossman argues we don't have to. a systematic revolution is introducing items which are “benign through design,” constructing production strategies that examine well-being affects at each level, and is growing new compounds that mimic instead of disrupt traditional structures. via interviews with top researchers, Grossman offers us a primary examine this radical transformation.
eco-friendly chemistry is simply getting underway, however it bargains desire that we will certainly create items that gain wellbeing and fitness, the surroundings, and industry.

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Extra info for Chasing Molecules: Poisonous Products, Human Health, and the Promise of Green Chemistry

Sample text

This approach has also resulted in the confusing situation of having different levels of exposure to the same substance deemed acceptable in different geographic locations. Why should babies in Canada receive one kind of protection and American babies another? Why are women in Europe protected from chemical exposures that women in the United States are not, while residents of California receive more stringent protection than New Yorkers? ” Such efforts are underway all around world and, as noted, are being undertaken by some of the world’s largest chemical companies and manufacturers.

In the United States, even when seriously adverse effects of chemicals have been detected and confirmed, many toxic chemicals—including the suspected human carcinogens formaldehyde and trichloroethylene, for example— have remained in production or in use in products sold in the country for years. And our system of chemical regulation, which is based on reducing exposure only after a chemical has been shown to be harmful, has made it 10 CHASING MOLECULES extremely slow and cumbersome to effectively take a hazardous substance out of circulation or to establish effective protective national safety standards.

10 ✣✣✣ Virtually everything on Earth is made up of chemicals, as any number of people who work for chemical manufacturing companies have pointed out to me. Chemicals are simply the elemental molecules that make up life on Earth. I’ve also been reminded that at certain doses, under certain circumstances, even the most environmentally benign substances (water is the oft-cited example) can be toxic. There are also natural sources of many hazardous materials—mercury, for example, or poisonous plants— so industry is not the sole source of environmental toxics.

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