Books et al.Policy

A new chemical economy

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Science  11 Sep 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6253, pp. 1175
DOI: 10.1126/science.aac9931

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The United States has a big problem when it comes to our production and consumption of chemicals— and we've been thinking about it all wrong. So argues Ken Geiser in his sweeping new tome, Chemicals Without Harm. Instead of decrying (and attempting to regulate) the health and environmental impacts of hazardous chemicals, Geiser argues that we need to see hazardous chemicals as the symptom of a much larger problem: a whole chemical economy gone awry. In addressing this new version of the problem, he issues a far-reaching scientific,technical, and cultural challenge: retool the material basis of our society toward a system that produces and uses dramatically safer chemicals.