Saturday, 12 December 2009

New Book: Elizabeth Grossman and the Green Chemistry Revolution.

Title: 'Chasing Molecules.'

Toxic chemicals are seemingly ubiquitous. Since everything on Earth is Hyperinterconnected, chemicals intended for one use, in one product, can easily find their way into other things, like soil, air, water and bodies.

Scientists have been trying to determine where toxic chemicals are ending up, and the results are shocking: Dangerous chemicals are even being found in the blood of newborn babies.
These alarming facts are what investigative journalist Elizabeth Grossman came across while researching her latest book.

Grossman said she became increasingly disturbed by the amount of chemicals that were being found in our consumer products. It all began when she wanted to know why the Center for Disease Control (CDC) was finding the exact same chemicals in polar bears, newborn babies and our food. After asking why, she began wondering if it was possible to do any better. Could products and the chemicals they are created from be made environmentally ‘benign by design?’

She says that there is a solution: green chemistry. Green chemists are redesigning the future and learning from nature to create new, non-harming chemicals and products.

Without green chemistry will be entering into a very dangerous world. Many of the chemicals she was chasing are endocrine disruptors, which have the ability to change our genetic makeup. They can mess with reproduction and lead to an increase in fat cells, which leads to higher rates of diabetes and slower metabolism. They have been shown to reduce sperm count and also mess with neurological function. Grossman quotes Theo Colburne as saying that without green chemistry the future is going to be "fat, stupid and impotent.

But, it's not so easy to convince some industries to become green, as many of the harmful chemicals that are being used have been on the market since the 1930s. The research has been done and the products made. Many companies, too entrenched in the old ways, do not see the benefit of redesigning their entire line.

Without strong political will and support to discontinue dangerous chemical use, companies stuck in their ways will continue to use harmful methods, and chemicals will continue to find their way into every aspect of our ecosystem.

For those who are new to the toxic chemical debate, Chasing Molecules provides a strong argument for the implementation of green chemistry. For those who are aware and motivated, it provides a hopeful look at the benign design revolution already taking place.

Read it.... If not wait for the publication of my new book: 'New Industrial Revolution.'

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