Facts on Domestic Waste and Industrial Pollutants

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-- For those who want brief, well-illustrated overviews of some complicated environmental problems, these two books will serve as mostly objective introductions. They lack depth in showing the dimension of the problems and fail to list sources of further information, but knowledgeable librarians and teachers will fill that void. Domestic Waste touches on the history of industrial pollution, and describes the nature of various pollutants. Current waste-handling technology is covered in a couple of pages. Particularly effective are the diagrams of how air pollution leads to acid rain. The problems of incineration receive fair treatment. A brief glossary covers only ten terms; addresses include a local organization in Chicago, but not Greenpeace. Finally, there is no mention of efforts to prevent the creation of domestic waste. Nuclear Waste follows a similar format, with clear diagrams of some of the basic ideas, including nuclear fission. Johnstone discusses radiation, how it is used to produce power, its uses, dangers, and reprocessing problems. Greenpeace is mentioned in the text, although again not in the list of addresses. One fairly serious problem is Johnstone's unquestioned acceptance of the nuclear industry's claims that the radiation levels involved in a serious nuclear accident ``are only a fraction of the natural levels mankind has grown up with,'' and that nuclear power is no more unsafe than alternative sources. Many scientists would disagree. Omitted is perhaps the most effective source of energy--conservation. Comparable works are Nigel Hawkes' Toxic Waste and Recycling (1988) and Nuclear Safety (1987, both Gloucester), which have a similar graphic style but treat controversial issues more evenhandedly. They also give more detail; the writing style is sprightly and engaging. Johnstone's books are recommended for libraries that don't have the Hawkes books or that need more introductory material on these ``hot'' topics. --Jonathan Betz-Zall, Sno-Isle Regional Library System, Edmonds, WA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780531109120
  • Publisher: Scholastic Library Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/1990
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years

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