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Chemicals play a role in our everyday lives, from the water we drink to the air we breathe. Here, Myers (environmental science, Alaska Pacific Univ.) provides information on 100 chemicals important to society, heath, and industry. He opens with an introduction to chemical compounds and a summary of the entry format. The discussion of chemicals that follows includes acetic acid (the acid in vinegar), xylene (a chemical used to make plastics and polyester), the synthetic pesticide DDT, penicillin, chlorophyll, and methane. The three- to five-page A-to-Z entries contain each chemical's name, formula, structure, mass, CAS number, melting and boiling points, and density as well as information on its importance and, in some cases, history. The book closes with a table of common names, a guide to further reading, and a glossary. Because there is no mention of selection criteria, readers are left wondering why these particular chemicals are discussed.
Correction:In the review of Anti-Americanism: History, Causes, and Themes(LJ9/1/07), the publisher was listed incorrectly. The publisher is not Greenwood but Greenwood World Publishing, a separate imprint.