Cleaning Our Environment, The Chemical Basis For Action
American Chemical Society Committee on Chemistry and Public Affairs Subcommittee on Environmental Improvement
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We have had two goals in preparing this report. First, we have set down an objective account of the current status of the science and technology of environmental improvement: what is known and how it is being used; what must be learned and how it might be used. Second, we have analyzed the information thus assembled and have recommended a number of measures that, if adopted, should help to accelerate the sound development and use of that science and technology. We have focused strongly on chemistry, chemical engineering, and the related disciplines. By doing so, we hope to expand the chemical awareness and the flow of chemical know-how which are essential to any long-term rational approach to understanding and controlling our environment. we did not set out to inform the experts, the men and women who must deal daily and directly with the challenging problems of managing the environment. If we refresh the expert, so much the better, but we hope primarily to buttress the technical awareness of legislators, administrators, and others who must deal with environmental problems at one or more steps removed from direct involvement with the pertinent science and technology. We hope also to attract the interest of those scientists and engineers not now involved in such problmes who may have useful ideas and work to contribute to their solution. We have stressed the fact that a strong vein of chemistry runs throughout environmental science and technology. We have stressed that fact without fear of being accused of displaying excessive self-interest. We have tried to stress it without obscuring or appearing to obscure the undeniable complementary fact that solving the technical problems of environmental management will require the best efforts of scientists and engineers from many disciplines. The American Chemical Society speaks with special concern to the world of chemistry, however, and we believe that environmental problems do provide at the very least a fit intellectual match for the talents of those chemical scientists and engineers who wish to work at the worthy mission of making a cleaner world.