Environmental Chemistry: Fundamentals and Microscale Experiments

When I was about eight years old, the beautiful wetland that stretched out beside my home was destroyed and was replaced by a large office park. My father, upon seeing how upset I was, said to me, "If you care about something, you care enough to learn about it." This event perhaps more than anything else caused me to dedicate my life to sustaining our environment, our world, through the power of chemistry. And perhaps, more than anything else, this is also the lesson of these excellent textbooks, Environmental Chemistry: Fundamentals and Microscale Experiments. It is the knowledge and perspective contained in these textbooks that allows all of us as scientists to understand the way our environment functions on a molecular level and how to identify potential threats to human health and the environment that need to be addressed. But they do more than that. They also give us the fundamental basis for ensuring that those problems never arise by using the Principles of Green Chemistry that emphasize avoiding hazards through innovations in chemistry.

For much of the history of the environmental movement, the scientific community has sought to identify and quantify environmental problems. If we were able to identify the problems, we then sought ways to clean them up sometimes elegantly, sometimes expensively, sometimes both. Because of the knowledge and fundamentals presented in these textbooks we are able to build on those historical approaches and incorporate the principles of sustainable design into the chemical products and processes of tomorrow. The authors deserve tremendous credit for their extraordinary efforts that have resulted in these comprehensive and much needed volumes. These books will provide excellent resources for those aspiring scientists to understand that the way to protect the Earth is through intimately and rigorously understanding the Earth.

Paul T. Anastas Yale University December, 2006

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