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PREFACE The predecessor to this book originated in the 1970s as notes to a junior=senior level course in ``Chemistry of the Environment'' that the authors developed at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in response to the interest in environmental concerns developing at that time. The present volume is an updated and expanded version of the original book published in 1978 and used ever since. Major changes in environmental problems have occurred in the years since the publication of the ®rst edit
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  PREFACE The predecessor to this book originated in the 1970s as notes to ajunior = senior level course in ``Chemistry of the Environment'' that the authorsdeveloped at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in response to the interest inenvironmental concerns developing at that time. The present volume is anupdated and expanded version of the srcinal book published in 1978 andused ever since.Major changes in environmental problems have occurred in the years sincethe publication of the ®rst edition, including the ozone and global warmingconcerns, the nuclear power plant meltdown at Chernobyl in 1986, and theworld's worst oil spills in Kuwait and the Persian Gulf in 1991. Although thissecond edition of the book refers to these and other disasters, and was writtenwith current environmental topics in mind, it retains an emphasis on theprinciples of environmental chemistry, not on speci®c catastrophes. Signi®cantalterations in coverage have been made in a number of topics to re¯ect thesedynamics. For example, there is less discussion of the atmospheric chemicalreactions of hydrocarbons in Chapter 6 because hydrocarbons have become aless serious environmental problem in the United States as a result of themandated use of the catalytic converter on the exhaust systems of automobiles.The chapters on polymers and surfactants were combined into one chapter andfollow the chapter on petroleum because the major pathways for the environ-mental degradation of these three classes of organics is by microorganisms andthe reaction steps are similar in many instances. The separate chapter onpheromones was removed and an abridged version of this material has beenadded to the chapter dealing with pesticides because pheromones have notachieved the potential for insect control forecast for them in the 1970s. Newmaterial on environmental hormones has been included, and a new chapter onrecycling has been added. The material dealing with the chemistry of particular  xix   elements of environmental concern has been expanded, and the material onnuclear chemistry redone. The latter we feel is particularly important in viewof the possible resurgence of nuclear energy and the general (low) level of understanding of it. We have tried to avoid an excessive focus on U.S. con-cerns.This book is intended as a text, but also as a reference book to provide abackground to those who need an understanding of the chemical basis of manyenvironmentally important processes. As a text, it is probably too extensive tobe covered completely in a single course, but in our own use we have foundthat particular chapters and sections can be selected according to the topicsdesired. We have attempted to group chapters in a way that is suitable for this.In some cases, this has resulted in different aspects of some topics beingcovered in different chapters. We do not believe that this has led to eitherexcessive fragmentation or redundancy. As either a text or reference, the readerwill need some chemistry background; we have not attempted to write thisbook at a beginning level. Besides a good grounding in general chemistry, someknowledge of organic chemistry is needed for the sections dealing with organiccompounds.The objective of the book is to deal with the chemical principles andreactions that govern the behavior of both natural environmental systemsand anthropogenic compounds important in the environment, although obvi-ously it is a general coverage and does not pretend to go deeply into specialtyareas such as marine chemistry or geochemistry. From time to time we mayhave stretched the scope of chemistry a bitÐfor example, we deal with atmos-pheric circulation because this is important to understanding some of theconsequences of atmospheric chemistryÐand we mention some nonchemicalenergy sources for completeness.The book starts with a discussion of the atmosphere, leading into chapterson photochemistry and other atmospheric chemical reactions. Three chaptersdeal with the environmental chemistry of organic compounds of importanttypes, including petroleum, detergents, pesticides, and plastics. Followingsections deal mainly with water and the inorganic chemistry in natural watersystems, including the environmental chemistry of selected elements, followedby a brief chapter on the lithosphere. Two chapters deal with nuclear chemistryin some detail. Other chapters deal with energy and recycling. Where appro-priate, we have made reference to recent scienti®c publications, mainly infootnotes, and have suggested additional reading at the end of each chapter,but we have made no effort to give extensive literature coverage. We haveincluded a few references to information on the Internet, which can be avaluable source of data if care is taken to use reliable sources such as govern-mental agencies and to remember that much material is not reviewed  ; some of it is just plain wrong. Exercises have been provided that can be used for self-study or for class assignments.  xx  PREFACE  As in the original version, we have used the units that are commonlyencountered in the literature dealing with particular ®elds, rather than ration-alizing them to a standard such as SI units. We feel that this will better preparethe reader for further reading. We have included SI equivalents in manyinstances, and do provide a table of conversions and de®nitions that mayhelp to make sense out of the many different units found. R. A. BaileyH. M. Clark J. P. FerrisS. KrauseR. L. Strong  PREFACE xxi
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