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Book Review Air Pollution and Plants. By C. Troyanowsky

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work by Izumi and Tai on catalytic hydrogenation with
metals modified by tartaric acid is neglected and could at
least have been discussed in Chapter 10. It is a pity that no
section is devoted to catalysis by chiral amines, amino
acids o r small peptides, despite spectacular results being
obtained such as, e.g., the proline-catalyzed cyclization of
trike tone^,'^.'] the alkaloid-catalyzed ketene addition,I6’ and
the asymmetric alkylation with a chiral phase-transfer
Moreover, enzymatic reactions are presented in
only thirty pages. As stated by the author, this chapter
should serve more as an introduction than a comprehensive coverage of the topic because of lack of space. Despite
these criticisms, however, the work as a whole is an invaluable tool for the chemist already engaged in the field, and
should become a reference work for everybody working on
the stereocontrolled synthesis of organic molecules. The
stereochemical nature of the series is well evidenced by the
names to whom the five volumes are dedicated: H . S.
Mosher, A . Horeau, D. Cram, S . Yamada, and V. Prelog.
Asymmetric syntheses and stereocontrolled processes
abound in the current literature and are the topic of many
international meetings and symposia. This collected work
should greatly stimulate the advance of asymmetric synthesis. Perhaps in a few years time a new set of volumes
will be needed in order to reassess the state of the art.
Henri B. Kagan [NB 759 IE]
Universite de Paris-Sud, Orsay Cedex (France)
[ I ] J. D. Morrison, H. S. Mosher: Asymmetric Organrc Reactrons, Prentice
Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. USA 1971; reprint: American Chemical
Society, Washington 1976.
[2] 1. Izumi, A. Tai: Stereo-di~~erentraringReoctmns. Academic Press, New
York 1977.
[3] B. Bosnich: Asymmetric Catalysis (NATO AS1 Series), Martinus Nijhoff,
Dordrecht 1986.
[4] Z . G. Hajos, D. R. Parrish, J. Orq. Chem. 39 (1974) 1615.
[S] U. Eder, G. Sauer, R. Wiechert, Angew. Chem. 83 (1971) 492; Angew.
Chem. In,. Ed. Engl. 10 (1971) 496.
[6] H Wynberg, E. G. J. Staring, J . Am Chem. Soc. 104 (1982) 166.
171 U. H. Dolling, P. Davis, E J J. Grabowski, J . Am. Chem. Soc. 106 (1984)
446.
Air Pollution and Plants. By C . Troyanowsky. VCH Verlagsgesellschaft, Weinheim 1985. x, 298 pp., bound, DM
120.00.-ISBN 3-527-263 10-1
This book contains the papers presented at the Second
European Conference on Chemistry and the Environment,
held in London in 1984 under the auspices of the Federation of European Chemical Societies and the German
Chemical Society. They are concerned with the atmospheric chemistry of pollutants (processes involving the
formation of photo-oxidants, and photo-degradation processes occurring at aerosol surfaces), the direct and indirect effects of pollutants on plants, trees, and the ground
and water systems, and the relevant analytical methods
and monitoring programs.
The papers reflect the wide variety of views that exist
concerning the effects of atmospheric pollution on terrestrial ecosystems, and also a degree of confusion on the
subject, notably with regard to cause-effect relationships.
Many of the contributions are informative, but the book is
by no means representative of all European research in
this field. In particular, there is insufficient information on
850
the basic chemistry involved, and the fact that shortcomings in our understanding of the processes are largely
caused by a lack of adequate analytical methods to provide specific evidence for individual pollutants does not
come out clearly enough. Some of the papers are only reported as abstracts which are not very meaningful by
themselves. The contribution by B. Ulrich (Gottingen) concerning the direct and indirect effects of pollutants on forests, and the resulting changes to the ecosphere, is especially well-written and informative. Ulrich expresses the
view that, although man cannot destroy nature itself, he
can destroy the ecosystems on which it depends, and therefore pollution o f the atmosphere needs to be eliminated as
quickly as possible. An opposite view is given by E. Weise
(Leverkusen), who asks for further clarification and for
priorities to be decided, so as to avoid hasty and mistaken
actions.
Werner Stumm INB 766 IE]
Swiss Federal Institute for Water Resources
and Water Pollution Control,
Diibendorf (Switzerland)
Biological Oxidation of Nitrogen in Organic Molecules.
Chemistry, Toxicology and Pharmacology. Edited by J.
W. Gorrod and L. A . Damani. VCH Verlagsgesellschaft,
Weinheim 1985. 445 pp., bound, DM 150.00.-ISBN 3527-26299-7
Research into the metabolism of organic nitrogen compounds by N-oxidation began about 1920 with the isolation of N-acetylphenylhydroxylamine from the blood of
cats which had been given acetanilide (Ellinger, HoppeSeyler’s Z . Physiol. Chem. I l l (1920) 86). Since then many
nitrogen-containing xenobiotics have been studied, and in
1978 one of the editors of this book, J. W. Gorrod, reviewed progress u p to then in this field of research. The
present volume is concerned with the latest developments,
some of which are extremely interesting, especially with regard to the biochemical pharmacology and toxicology of
N-oxidations.
A short introductory chapter describes the possibilities
of nitrogen oxidation in xenobiotics; the products consist
essentially of hydroxylamines, hydroxamic acids, nitrosoand nitro-compounds, oximes, nitrones and N-oxides.
The rest of the book is divided into nine sections. The
first describes the methods for analyzing N-oxidized compounds, especially those for arylhydroxylamines and tertiary amine oxides. Next, the flavin-containing monooxygenase (“Ziegler’s enzyme”) i s discussed. A series of
short chapters (about four or five pages each) then deal
with pargyline, alicyclic amines, fomocaine, secondary
aromatic amines, N , N-dimethylaniline, cimetidine, ranitidine and (S)-(-)-nicotine. The third section is concerned
with oxidation and formation of aromatic amines, especially chemical carcinogens, and dietary control of the bacterial metabolism of the nitro group. The fourth section
discusses the oxidation of amides and carbamates, especially of the known carcinogen 2-acetylaminofluorene. The
next section deals with the N-oxidation of azaheteroaromatic compounds, and the following one with the oxidation of amidines, imines, triazenes, hydrazine and azo
compounds.
The following two sections, on N-oxidations by prostaglandin-H-synthetase and by the peroxidase-H,O, system,
are highly topical and of particular biological interest owAnqew. Chem. hit. Ed. Engl 25 (1986) No. 9
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