Life in a Contaminated World

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Science  28 Sep 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6102, pp. 1614-1615
DOI: 10.1126/science.1226985

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Until the early 1960s, pesticide use was perceived as a benefit to agriculture and public health, with few detrimental consequences. This perception changed dramatically with the publication 50 years ago of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (1). The book was the start of a debate that continues to this day on the relative benefits and risks of not just pesticides but all synthetic chemicals.