Poisonous Products, Human Health, and the Promise of Green Chemistry
Each day, headlines warn that baby bottles are leaching dangerouschemicals, nonstick pans are causing infertility, and plasticcontainers are making us fat. What if green chemistry could change allthat? What if rather than toxics, our economy ran on harmless,environmentally-friendly materials?
Elizabeth Grossman, an acclaimed journalist who brought nationalattention to the contaminants hidden in computers and other high techelectronics, now tackles the hazards of ordinary consumer products. Sheshows that for the sake of convenience, efficiency, and short-termsafety, we have created synthetic chemicals that fundamentally change,at a molecular level, the way our bodies work. The consequences rangefrom diabetes to cancer, reproductive and neurological disorders.
Yet it’s hard to imagine life without the creature comfortscurrent materials provide—and Grossman argues we do not have to.A scientific revolution is introducing products that are “benignby design,” developing manufacturing processes that considerhealth impacts at every stage, and is creating new compounds that mimicrather than disrupt natural systems. Through interviews with leadingresearchers, Grossman gives us a first look at this radicaltransformation.
Green chemistry is just getting underway, but it offers hope that wecan indeed create products that benefit health, the environment, andindustry.
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 ofData?
Chapter 6: The Persistent and Pernicious
Chapter 7: Out of the Frying Pan
Chapter 8: Nanotechnology: Perils and Promise of theInfinitesimal
Chapter 9: Material Consequences: Toward a Greening of Chemistry
Epilogue: Redesigning the Future
Appendix: The Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry and FurtherInformation
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