Skip Navigation LinksDEP > Citizens > Environmental Education > PA Falcon > The Rachel Carson Connection
      Falcon Header Image

The Rachel Carson Connection


About Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson was born on May 27, 1907, in Springdale, Pennsylvania, a small town north of Pittsburgh. As an adult, Carson worked for the government as a scientist and writer.
Carson studied the role of poisons in the environment. Her book, "Silent Spring", published in 1962, addressed the dangers posed by DDT.

The evidence was undisputedly conclusive that DDT interfered with calcium metabolism in birds at the top of the food chain. With no mechanism to excrete or breakdown DDT, birds at the top of the food chain accumulated DDT as they ate smaller birds, which, in turn, ate insects exposed to DDT. This is called bioaccumulation. The interference with calcium metabolism caused thinning eggshells that broke easily.

Peregrine falcons, bald eagles and ospreys that are making an impressive comeback thanks to the environmental ethics and foreword thinking of people like Rachel Carson. It is a happy irony, indeed, that these peregrine falcons chose to reside on the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg, which was named in her honor.