In Our Backyard: A Guide to Understanding Pollution and Its Effects

Front Cover
John Wiley & Sons, Dec 22, 1993 - Nature - 336 pages
Most attempts to control pollution have been piecemeal, focusing on one environmental component at a time, such as air or water, and have not addressed the big picture. Such efforts have not fully accounted for the Earth’s fundamental interconnectedness and unity; as a result, pollution control has often lagged behind pollution-related problems. This book puts all the pieces together as it explains how pollution affects all components of the environment. Using layperson’s language and an easy-to-use question and answer format, it describes: how the components of the environment operate together; major sources of pollution; and what we can do to clean up our surface water, groundwater, and air. Care has been taken to avoid bias and to present only the most sound, objective data available. Nearly 500 questions are formulated and answered, covering topics such as:
  • The environmental effects of our dependence on coal, oil, and uranium for energy
  • Pesticides—their effects on the environment and human health
  • Indoor air pollution and household pollutants, including lead and asbestos
  • Waste management, including hazardous, industrial, municipal, medical, and radioactive waste
With environmental concerns becoming more urgent, In Our Backyard is essential reading for public policymakers, environmental activists, journalists, corporate officers, lawyers, engineers, and all other citizens concerned about the health of our planet.


Protecting Surface Water
The Unseen Resource
The Air We Breathe
Managing Our Wastes
Energy Dependence
The DoubleEdged Sword
Household Pollution
Additional Information Sources

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page v - This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in if it is not a reasonably good place for all of us to live in.

About the author (1993)

TRAVIS WAGNER is an environmental scientist and the author of numerous major reference books and technical articles on hazardous waste, Superfund, toxic substances, and pollution. He received his degree in environmental science from Unity College in Maine. Mr. Wagner also teaches environmental policy at the USDA Graduate School in Washington, D.C., and has lectured extensively in the environmental protection field in the United States and Europe.

Bibliographic information