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6-12

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Part of American Experience
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Rachel Carson's Silent Spring

This video segment adapted from American Experience: "Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring" tells the story of how biologist Rachel Carson was driven to write Silent Spring, a book that questioned the safety of pesticide use in the United States. The most famous pesticide at the time was DDT, a chemical that had saved millions of lives in World War II from insect-borne disease and was thought to be safe. But Carson found evidence that DDT was poisoning birds, and represented a real threat to humans as well. The video states that Carson was not against the use of chemicals altogether; rather, she thought the chemical industry was pushing their overuse for its economic gain, at the expense of health and the environment.

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