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The devil's element : phosphorus and a world out of balance  Cover Image Book Book

The devil's element : phosphorus and a world out of balance / Dan Egan.

Egan, Dan, (author.).


"The story of phosphorus spans the globe and vast tracts of human history. The race to mine phosphorus took people from the battlefields of Waterloo, which were looted for the bones of fallen soldiers, to the fabled guano islands off Peru, the Bone Valleyof Florida, and the sand dunes of the Western Sahara. Over the past century, phosphorus has made farming vastly more productive, feeding the enormous increase in the human population. Yet, as Egan harrowingly reports, our overreliance on this vital cropnutrient is today causing toxic algae blooms and "dead zones" in waterways from the coasts of Florida to the Mississippi River basin to the Great Lakes and beyond. Egan also explores the alarming reality that diminishing access to phosphorus poses a threat to the food system worldwide--which risks rising conflict and even war"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781324002666
  • ISBN: 1324002662
  • ISBN: 9781324074724
  • Physical Description: xxvii, 228 pages ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York, NY : W.W. Norton and Company, [2023]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 193-219) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Part I: the race for phosphorus -- The devil's element -- The circle of life, broken -- Bones to stones -- War of the sands -- Part II: the cost of phosphorus -- Dirty soap -- Toxic water -- Empty beaches -- A liquid heart, diseased -- Part III: the future of phsophorus -- Waste not.
Subject: Phosphorus > Environmental aspects.
Phosphorus in agriculture > Environmental aspects.
Genre: Informational works.

Available copies

  • 4 of 6 copies available at Missouri Evergreen. (Show)
  • 0 of 1 copy available at North Kansas City.


  • 0 current holds with 6 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
North Kansas City Public Library 577.14 EGAN 2023 (Text) 0001012513772 Nonfiction Checked out 06/26/2024

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