For many years the chemical and biological by-products of our tech­ nological age have been discarded with little thought and care about their potential impact on public health and the environment. Abandoned dumpsites are the most prominent manifestations of this practice and hence are treated first in this book. Horror stories about dumpsites are common. The growing awareness of what occurred at these sites has led many Americans to conclude that hazardous waste management is the most serious environ­ mental problem and that something must immediately be done. The call for action is so recent that those who must prepare national or state policies for cleaning up existing and locating new facilities and those who must decide what to do at each site do not have an established scientific foundation to draw upon.