Why did Carson want the poisonous chemicals present in insecticides to be called biocides in Silent Spring?

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This is because she believes that "biocides" would be a much more accurate description of what the chemicals do.

When we call a chemical a pesticide, we are implying that all it kills is pests.  The "cide" part of that means to kill (as in homicide and suicide).  So if something is a pesticide, it kills pests.

But as Carson says very early in the book, the chemicals do not distinguish between good and bad organisms.  When the chemicals get sprayed, they pretty much kill everything of the type of thing (plant or insect) that they are meant to kill.

So she wants to call them biocides because they kill all life, not just the pests.

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