Hugh Flowers reviews this text suitable for university students

An introduction to pollution science
Roy M. Harrison (ed)
Cambridge: RSC 2006 | Pp334 | £24.95 | ISBN 0 854 04829 4

An introduction to pollution science cover

This publication has evolved from the Royal Society of Chemistry's successful Understanding our environment: an introduction to environmental chemistry and pollution, which has also spawned Principles of environmental chemistry.  

An introduction to pollution science is suited to students on degree courses in environmental science and pollution studies at both undergraduate and taught postgraduate levels and possibly environmental studies where there is a strong scientific content. Its wider pollution-orientated content will also be of value to chemistry students with a particular interest in environmental chemistry. 

The book has much in common with its ancestor in both structure and content, and in authorship of the individual chapters. Little, other than some of the chemistry, has been lost so that of the two descendants this book is more clearly the development of the original.  

Some chapters, such as those on the atmosphere, investigating the environment and ecological and health effects of chemical pollution, have been modified and updated. Others, such as the chapters on the world's waters, which replaces separate chapters on the oceans and freshwater, and soils and land contamination, have been written by new authors. The balance and diversity have been maintained, though the chapter on soils and land contamination is somewhat brief.  

Each chapter contains case studies and is now extensively referenced, though only time will tell if the Web references will be robust enough to be of value. Overall, this is a worthy replacement for the earlier text.