Silent Spring Quotes


If the Bill of Rights contains no guarantee that a citizen shall be secure against lethal poisons distributed either by private individuals or by public officials, it is surely only because our forefathers, despite their considerable wisdom and foresight, could conceive of no such problem.

The narrator, chapter 2

For a long period of time, the state could not control the quantity of dangerous substances that was released over large portions of land. Because of this, the pesticides were used in a chaotic manner and it was impossible to know how the pesticides affected the population because the pesticide companies claimed for a long period of time that their products were safe to use. Thus, the government found itself in the situation to not be able to protect its citizens from a poison that was so easily sprayed over the general population.

Responsible public health officials have pointed out that the biological effects of chemicals are cumulative over long periods of time, and that the hazard to the individual may depend on the sum of the exposures received throughout his lifetime.

The narrator, chapter 12

By the time when the negative effects were discovered, it was already too late for the general population that was exposed to the negative effects chemicals have on one’s body. The doctors figured out that something was wrong when people began to get sick and develop health problems that were uncommon until then. However, because certain chemicals are stored in the human body and in the animals’ body for a long period of time, it became hard to determine how the chemicals will end up affecting the human body in the long run and if prolonged exposure will prove to be fatal or not.

The world was then full of disease germs, as today it is full of carcinogens.

The narrator, chapter 14

Carson points out that humanity was always threatened by one thing or another. In the past, disease like smallpox, yellow fever and malaria imposed a serious threat to humans but in time, the human body built immunity against them so the effects were not as devastating. In modern times however, nature doesn’t pose a threat to humans as it did in the past and nowadays, the ones who have the power to wipe out humanity entirely are the humans themselves. Because of the rapid technological advancement, it is hard to predict how certain chemicals will end up affecting the human body and if the human body will be able to build and immunity against all the chemicals that appear every new year.

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