Naturally Dangerous: Surprising Facts about Food, Health and the Environment / Edition 1

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Full of surprising anecdotes, curious facts and historical oddities, this remarkable little book connects observations from our everyday lives to the scientific principles that explain them. You will find information on organic produce, irradiated foods, trans fat and fat substitutes, natural herbs, designer drugs, Mad Cow Disease, Prions, cancer, DNA testing, global warming, acid rain, aphrodisiacs, pheromones, and much more. Chances are if there is something you were wondering about, you will find it covered here. Should you be eating margarine? Are cell phones safe? Read on!The author has avoided scientific jargon and mathematics to make this book of interest to nonscientists and scientists alike.

About the Author

Jim Collman is a Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of numerous research and teaching awards, Collman is also an avid fly-fisherman with broad interests in the environment, health, nutrition and the history of science.
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Editorial Reviews

Spyros Andreopoulos
"This is one of the most informative and valuable books on public health policy-not merely on environmental policy-to have been written for the intelligent general reader in the past 10 years. Its target is scientific illiteracy and how it affects public opinion on what is hazardous and what is behind overblown health scares reported daily by the news media, and often followed by futile government efforts to craft consumer protection policies."
Chemical & Engineering News
Collman's scientific acumen is evident throughout this book. Only an excellent communicator with a profound understanding of a subject can provide such clear and simple explanations of facts, making them totally accessible to nonscientists and at the same time satisfying to chemists. In this slim and engaging volume, Collman broaches in a lucid, no-nonsense style exactly what the title proffers...This is no doom-and-gloom treatise. It's an adult, scholarly look at the risks involved with the choices we make.--Natalie Foster, Chemical and Engineering News, 12/17/01
Journal of Chemical Education
Professor James Collman of Stanford University has provided an excellent resource for all of us who try to help our students and the general public to discriminate between valid science and the bogus "scientific" claims that pervade television, the Internet, the grocery store, and especially the "health food" store.--Hal Harris, Hal's Pick of the Month, Journal of Chemical Education, January 2002
...makes an effective case for not accepting the simple equation 'natural = safe.' In addition to food, [Collman] covers herbal medicines, environmental pollution, global warming, electromagnetic radiation and radioactivity.--John Krebs, Nature, 10 January 2002
Washington Post
Aiming to improve readers' scientific literacy, Naturally Dangerous examines the risks involved in the choices we make about what we eat, how we treat our illnesses and how much time we spend out in the sun. From electric blankets to monosodium glutamate to genetically engineered foods, Collman steers a reasoned, sensible course through the potentially hazardous straits of everyday life...if you treat Collman's book as a sampler of solid advice, you won't finish it feeling hungry.--Tom Graham, The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781891389092
  • Publisher: University Science Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustration Credits
Overture: Is Anything Safe? 1
Ch. 1 Chemicals Lurking in Your Grocery Store 7
Ch. 2 The Pharmacy 45
Ch. 3 Is "Health Food Store" an Oxymoron? 61
Ch. 4 Infectious Agents: Are All Micro-organisms Bad? 87
Ch. 5 Cancer and the Environment 107
Ch. 6 Nature Is Elemental 121
Ch. 7 Natural and Unnatural Molecules in the Environment 155
Ch. 8 Is the Sky Falling?? 169
Ch. 9 Dust, Magnets, and Scuba Diving 195
Ch. 10 We Are All Radioactive! 209
Epilogue: There Is No Free Lunch! 225
Further Reading 227
Glossary 239
Index 259
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