3rd Edition

Environmental Chemistry in Society

By James M. Beard, Ruth Ann Murphy Copyright 2021
    446 Pages 19 Color & 95 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    445 Pages 19 Color & 95 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    445 Pages 19 Color & 95 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    This self-contained text offers all the information necessary for readers to understand the topics surrounding environmental science and the chemistry underlying various issues. Environmental Chemistry in Society, Third Edition, provides a foundation in science, chemistry, and toxicology, including the laws of thermodynamics, chemical bonding, and environmental toxins. This text allows readers to delve into environmental topics such as energy in society, air quality, global atmospheric concerns, water quality, and solid waste management. The arrangement of the book provides instructors with flexibility in how they present the material, with crucial topics covered first. This Third Edition has been updated throughout.

    The book provides a statement of learning outcomes at the beginning of every chapter, group work questions to encourage learning and environmental awareness, and discussion questions to develop critical thinking skills. The Third Edition includes more illustrations than previous editions, and the energy chapter of the Second Edition has been divided into two chapters in this edition to make the topic more manageable. An inclusive international approach highlights the contributions of scientists from around the world. Chemical structures are presented with inline figures.


    • Offers a user-friendly approach to appeal to students with little or no science background
    • Presents a qualitative approach to the chemistry behind many current environmental issues
    • Updates environmental data
    • Includes a glossary of important terms

    The environmental data has been updated to include the effects of COVID-19. A test bank is available to instructors upon request.

    1. Background to the Environmental Problem

    2. The Natural Laws

    3. Underlying Principles of Chemistry

    4. Types of Chemical Compounds and Their Reactions

    5. Element Cycles

    6. Toxicology

    7. Traditional Energy Sources and Modern Society

    8. Emerging Energy Sources and Modern Society

    9. Weather and Climate

    10. Air Quality

    11. Indoor Air Quality

    12. Global Atmospheric Change

    13. Water

    14. Water Quality

    15. Solid Wastes

    16. Hazardous Wastes

    17. Epilogue


    James M. Beard, PhD, earned a BA in chemistry at Manchester College (now Manchester University) in 1965 and a PhD in organic chemistry at Stanford University in 1969. After two years of teaching chemistry at Manchester College, he pursued a career as a clinical chemist. During the next 12 years, Dr. Beard worked as a product developer, quality control consultant, and administrator in both hospital and industry settings. Since 1988, Dr. Beard has been a member of the faculty at Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, where he is a professor of chemistry. Dr. Beard’s major interest is environmental chemical education.


     Ruth Ann Murphy, PhD, earned a BS in chemistry and a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin, with additional graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After teaching appointments in chemistry at Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX, and the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, she served as an assistant professor of chemistry and chemistry coordinator at the University of Albuquerque. As a professor of chemistry, she then chaired the division of science and math at Howard Payne University, Brownwood, TX. Since 1995, Dr. Murphy has taught at the University of Mary Hardin- Baylor, Belton, TX, where she chairs the Department of Chemistry, Environmental Science and Geology, holds the Amy LeVesconte Professorship of Chemistry, directs the Recycling Program, co- chairs the Health Professions Advisory Committee, and is Principal Investigator for the Robert A. Welch Foundation research grant. Dr. Murphy enjoys making chemistry relevant to her students by infusing environmental and other examples from daily life into her courses.