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David Firestone PCP Feeding Study Notebook

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Firestone, David.
Title: David Firestone PCP Feeding Study Notebook
Inclusive Dates: 1977-1978
Quantity: 1 volume (SC)
Abstract: Research notes connected with the US FDA's study documenting the effects of pentachlorophenol (PCP) on dairy cattle and dairy products
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Pentachlorophenol (PCP) was first introduced in 1936 by Dow Chemical and Monsanto. PCP was used as a fungicide, bactericide, disinfectant, and algicide, but its most widespread use was as a wood preservative. In the 1970s, attention was drawn to the fact that treated wood used in dairy buildings and fencing resulted in the exposure of cattle and cattle feed to high levels of the chemical. Detrimental results included decreased milk production and higher rates of various bovine ailments such as mastitis and spontaneous abortion. Although the negative effects of PCP use on humans, animals, and the environment were widely documented and clearly demonstrated, EPA approval of the chemical was not officially rescinded until 2022.

Dr. David Firestone was a senior reseach chemist with the FDA and a recognized authority on the subject of chemicals and the food supply, a topic on which he wrote extensively for both academic and popular audiences. He was a member of the American Chemical Society

[Information drawn from the dealer catalog listing, as well as the National Pesticide Information Center; California Environmental Protection Agency; contemporary news articles in the Washington Post, New York Times, and other reputable newspapers; Beyond Pesticides; various source cited in the Wikipedia article "Pentachlorophenol"; and George Washington University alumni class notes, Fall 2016.]

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The David Firestone PCP Feeding Study Notebook contains laboratory notes related to a study carried out by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to examine the effects of pentachlorophenol (PCP) on dairy cattle and dairy products. The study examined a number of variables using samples of milk, pasture vegetation (e.g. grass and clover), and chemical components provided by Monsanto. The notebook includes notes, charts, graphs, and other data.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Firestone, David.

Corporate Bodies

Monsanto Company.
United States. -- Food and Drug Administration.


Dairy cattle -- Health.
Dairy farming -- Research.
Environmental chemistry.
Food contamination.
Pentachlorophenol -- Measurement.
Pentachlorophenol -- Toxicity.

Genres and Forms

Research notes.


Agricultural chemists.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

David Firestone PCP Feeding Study Notebook,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 2022.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 20 Feb 2023
Revision history:

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Research notes
SC 880 PCP study notebook 1977-1978 - handwritten notes, tipped in charts and graphs, etc.; 200 pp.

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