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Silent Spring

Silent Spring was a book written by Rachel Carson and published in 1962, about the detrimental effect pesticides were having on the environment, and especially on birds.

The book was widely read and drew public attention to this problem. It was part of the impetus for the banning of the pesticide DDT in the United States. As described in detail in the article on its author, the book was controversial at the time of its publication. It attracted hostile attention from commentators associated with the chemical industry.

Of the criticisms levelled at the book, the one most commonly cited today is that its suggestion: that the increase in the proportion of deaths in childhood caused by cancer was a consequence of an increase in the background level of carcinogens, was culpably misleading in ignoring the contribution to the absolute reduction of the childhood death rate of immunization and antibiotics.