Chasing Molecules

Poisonous Products, Human Health, and the Promise of Green Chemistry

  • Authors
  • Elizabeth Grossman

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxxii
  2. Elizabeth Grossman
    Pages 1-18
  3. Elizabeth Grossman
    Pages 19-40
  4. Elizabeth Grossman
    Pages 41-54
  5. Elizabeth Grossman
    Pages 55-82
  6. Elizabeth Grossman
    Pages 83-98
  7. Elizabeth Grossman
    Pages 99-121
  8. Elizabeth Grossman
    Pages 123-141
  9. Elizabeth Grossman
    Pages 143-157
  10. Elizabeth Grossman
    Pages 159-189
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 191-251

About this book


Each day, headlines warn that baby bottles are leaching dangerous chemicals, nonstick pans are causing infertility, and plastic containers are making us fat. What if green chemistry could change all that? What if rather than toxics, our economy ran on harmless, environmentally-friendly materials?


Elizabeth Grossman, an acclaimed journalist who brought national attention to the contaminants hidden in computers and other high tech electronics, now tackles the hazards of ordinary consumer products. She shows that for the sake of convenience, efficiency, and short-term safety, we have created synthetic chemicals that fundamentally change, at a molecular level, the way our bodies work. The consequences range from diabetes to cancer, reproductive and neurological disorders.


Yet it’s hard to imagine life without the creature comforts current materials provide—and Grossman argues we do not have to. A scientific revolution is introducing products that are “benign by design,” developing manufacturing processes that consider health impacts at every stage, and is creating new compounds that mimic rather than disrupt natural systems. Through interviews with leading researchers, Grossman gives us a first look at this radical transformation.


Green chemistry is just getting underway, but it offers hope that we can indeed create products that benefit health, the environment, and industry.


Consumer goods Environmental chemistry Environmental toxicology Green chemistry Organic pollutants

Bibliographic information