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Chapter 3

Elixirs of Death (A Silent Spring Ch.3) Notes.docx

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University of Guelph
HIST 2250
Mary- Anne Moroz

Elixirs of Death Chapter 3 from Silent Spring Course Reader Pg 299320 Rachel Carson Synthetic pesticides have been recovered from most of the major river systems and even from streams of groundwater flowing unseen through the earth Residues of these chemicals linger in soilentered bodies of fish birds reptiles wild animals etcAll of this has come about bc of the sudden rise and prodigious growth of n industry for the production of manmade or synthetic chemicals w insecticidal propertiesIn the course of developing agents of chemical warfare some of the chemicals created in the lab were found to be deadly to insects and the result has ben endless stream of synthetic insecticides Differ a lot from prewar insecticides which were made from naturally occurring minerals in plantproducts New synthetic insecticides have large biological potency immense power to poison but also enter into most vital processes of the bodychange them in sinister and often deadly way Destroy the enzymes which function is to protect body from harm block oxidation processes fromwhich the body receives energy prevent normal functioning of various organs and may initiate in certain cells the slow and irreversible change that leads to malignancyWW2 marked a turning away from inorganic chemicalspesticides into the wonder world of the carbon molecule a few old materials persist Arsenic Still basic ingredient in many weedinsect killersModern insecticides are still more deadly and mostly fall into 2 large groups of chemicals 1 DDT is known as the chlorinated hydrocarbons 2 Organic phosphorus insecticides and is represented by malathion and parathionBoth are built on the basis of carbon atoms organicThe basic element carbon Atoms have an almost infinite capacity for uniting w each other in chains and ring and various other confi
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