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Biocidal : confronting the poisonous legacy of PCBs

Author: Ted Dracos
Publisher: Boston : Beacon Press, ©2010.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"In 1962, Rachel Carson stunned the world with the publication of Silent Spring, exposing the lethal character of the pesticide DDT. Her work launched a global campaign against synthetic chemical toxins and veritably created a world environmental movement. But unbeknownst to Carson, an even more insidious chemical cousin to DDT had been silently poisoning the biosphere." "Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were first  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Ted Dracos
ISBN: 9780807006122 0807006122 9780807006320 0807006327
OCLC Number: 592450946
Description: 294 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: The man who poisoned the planet --
The long con --
The discovery --
The global poison --
PCBs and kids --
Adult realities --
PCBs, breast cancer, and hidden agendas --
Killer whales and the weight --
A lethal erosion of the biosphere --
The devil's gamble --
The politiks of PCBs --
The epiphany --
GE and the jacking of the Hudson --
The inevitability of nothing --
Precautionary agonistes --
Epigenetics, PCBs, and us --
Clouds and sunlight.
Responsibility: Ted Dracos.

Abstract:

"In 1962, Rachel Carson stunned the world with the publication of Silent Spring, exposing the lethal character of the pesticide DDT. Her work launched a global campaign against synthetic chemical toxins and veritably created a world environmental movement. But unbeknownst to Carson, an even more insidious chemical cousin to DDT had been silently poisoning the biosphere." "Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were first manufactured in 1920. Seen as a "magic fluid," they were a cheap and stable heat-transfer material used as a critical coolant in big power grids. The chemical industry soon went on to develop hundreds of other uses for this highly toxic group of substances--everything from copy paper and paint to hydraulic fluids. Despite being outlawed in the U.S. since 1976, PCBs are currently found in the remotest corners of Earth and remain the most prevalent group of industrial chemical contaminants in much of the world. Every human being, from the womb to the grave, bears a body burden of these poisonous molecules forever locked in their blood and tissues." "In Biocidal, investigative journalist Ted Dracos tells the full story of PCBs for the first time, starting with the chilling chronicle of how the chemical industry manipulated regulatory agencies and scientific findings for decades to continue to reap huge profits, despite their knowledge of the threats posed by their "magic fluid." Dracos draws on extensive research to document the connection between PCBs and catastrophic human illness, presenting the latest science as studies draw ever more disturbing links between PCBs and continued health impacts ranging from cancer and autism to immunosuppression and reproductive abnormalities." "Biocidal also explores the science behind the threat PCBs pose to Earth's biodiversity: today, killer whales in Puget Sound are dying, the eggs of Lake Ontario trout are doomed before they can hatch, 99 percent of the freshwater eels of Europe have disappeared, and frogs around the world are going extinct. While these disasters have many possible causes, evidence pointing to PCBs Keeps accumulating, much like the toxins in these animals' systems." "Nonetheless, Dracos leaves readers with a profound message of hope: the damage is not irreversible. In fact, cleanup efforts that involve the removal of the source of PCBs can really work, and quickly. Offering a simple blueprint for steps that can be taken to reduce the impacts of all industrial chemicals, Biocidal ultimately points the way toward a detoxified world."--Jacket.

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