This is a solutions-driven survey of the greatest threats to our increasingly toxic planet.
While covering just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, this overview of environmental chemistry touches on topics ranging from CO2 emissions and pesticides to nuclear fission. It at times delves into scientific details—such as the subatomic breakdown of the elements—and this information is presented in a way that is generally friendly to its intended young adult audience. Zimmer (Lighting up the Brain, 2018, etc.), a professor of chemistry, includes numerous anecdotes that make for compelling reading, for example, relating how Marie Curie’s notebooks are so radioactive that to this day they have to be stored in lead-lined boxes. Included in every chapter are up-to-date events such as the environmental and human injustice of the Flint water crisis. With the litany of hazards explored, it would be easy to feel hopeless, but Zimmer ends each chapter with the heading, “What Can You Do?” These sections provide advice for achievable lifestyle changes as simple as bringing your own reusable bags to the market. Also woven throughout are viable solutions that have already been implemented, such as the Sono arsenic filtration system being used in Bangladesh. Despite the dire subject matter, this slim, amply illustrated book is engaging and even uplifting. Terrific for classroom use.
Environmental chemistry that is eminently readable and hopeful. (source notes, glossary, further information, index) (Nonfiction. 12-15)