Silent Spring Review and Reaction

Topics: Water pollution, DDT, Environmentalism Pages: 2 (722 words) Published: June 1, 2005
Silent Spring by: Rachel Carson

This book was focused on the concern of pesticides that industries, along with us as individuals, have been dumping (both knowingly and unknowingly) into water. Carson was concerned that the chemicals which the farmers spread on their fields, and even the chemicals we use in our homes (among others), in the end, might come back around and harm us. The beginning of the book tells a story of a place, that was once so beautiful, turned dead and ugly due to a "strange blight that crept over the area" and destroyed everything. Later in the book, she goes on to explain that chemicals, particularly one known as DDT, are the major cause of environmental damage and the near extinction of many bird species. The book states that pesticides have a long life-span when exposed to the environment, affecting it negatively for many years. It also discusses how these pesticides can inadvertently affect people. She uses the example that people sometimes use pesticide to kill mosquitoes. These mosquitoes might then be eaten by a fish, which is then eaten by a bird, which is then eaten by mammals, including humans. There is also the concern that pesticides can be lethal when someone is exposed to them multiple times over a long-term period. Although the direct exposure to the chemical at the time of application may not harm you, there is a chance that the chemical may build up in body fat, leading to high levels of toxins in that person. The book also notes that pesticides have the tendency to spread from where they were applied. Pesticides dropped from the air over fields (like crop dusting) can easily drift if there is even just a slight wind. The chemicals that are sprayed on the ground, even household weed killers, have a tendency to wash into local streams and rivers with the first rain. This has caused many incidents of fish, numerous miles down a river, to be found dead due to the toxins in the water. Carson states...
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