Catalogue


Lead wars : the politics of science and the fate of America's children /
Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press ; New York : Milbank Memorial Fund, c2013.
description
xxii, 298 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0520273257 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780520273252 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
added author
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press ; New York : Milbank Memorial Fund, c2013.
isbn
0520273257 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780520273252 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
From personal tragedy to public health crisis -- Peeling the onion : new layers of the lead problem -- The contentious meaning of low-level exposures -- The rise of public health pragmatism -- Controlled poison -- Research on trial -- Lead poisoning and the courts -- A plague on all our houses.
catalogue key
9051184
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Lead poisoning remains a tragedy (and scandal) of immense proportions, and the authors utilize new sources--including previously unexamined court records--to tell a story that is as gripping as it is important."--Robert N. Proctor, Professor of the History of Science at Stanford University and author of Cancer Wars "This book tells the story of a public health tragedy affecting millions of children, the determined doctors who tried to help, and an industry propaganda campaign which prolonged and worsened the tragedy. For as long as powerful corporations manipulate politicians and public opinion to profit from dangerous products, this will remain an important story for our country. "--Sheldon Whitehouse, United States Senator
Flap Copy
"The story Rosner and Markowitz tell of generations of children gravely damaged by promiscuous dispersal of lead, and the persistent attempts made to evade responsibility for the harms caused, is both true and shocking. This book will not just educate future environmental and health leaders, it should outrage them."--Richard J. Jackson MD, MPH, Professor and Chair, Environmental Health Sciences, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health " Lead Wars argues that the tragedy of lead is one that our society is doomed to repeat again and again unless we develop better safeguards to protect us against chemicals and new technology. This book is a "must read" for public health professionals as well as for political scientists, social historians and for all who care about the future of America's children."--Philip J. Landrigan, Ethel H. Wise Professor of Community Medicine and Chairman in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine "Can being poor justify differing standards for research or a focus merely on harm reduction and the politically feasible? Markowitz and Rosner make the compelling case that in public health the practical and possible may in the end be immoral and dangerous, and a consequence of the war on science. A necessary read for anyone who cares about public health, the role of government, children, medical experimentation and environmental justice."--Susan M. Reverby, McLean Professor in the History of Ideas and Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, Wellesley College "Lead poisoning remains a tragedy (and scandal) of immense proportions, and the authors utilize new sources--including previously unexamined court records--to tell a story that is as gripping as it is important."--Robert N. Proctor, Professor of the History of Science at Stanford University and author of Cancer Wars "This book tells the story of a public health tragedy affecting millions of children, the determined doctors who tried to help, and an industry propaganda campaign which prolonged and worsened the tragedy. For as long as powerful corporations manipulate politicians and public opinion to profit from dangerous products, this will remain an important story for our country."--Sheldon Whitehouse, United States Senator
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2013-05-15:
When there is scientific consensus that even low levels of a toxin in children's blood will cause lasting damage, are there valid reasons to stop short of eliminating that threat? Using the decades-long conflict over lead in the environment, Markowitz (history, John Jay Coll. CUNY) and Rosner (public health & history, Columbia Univ.), coauthors of Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution, explore the complexity of that question. Beginning with an appeal court's decision that Johns Hopkins University researchers violated their ethical obligation to children in their study of varying levels of lead paint abatement in homes, the book traces the evolution of the widespread scientific condemnation of environmental lead, as well as the parallel efforts by the lead industry to question that science and regulatory changes. Antiregulatory policies put into place in the 1980s and court decisions that upheld the industry's denial of liability have left thousands of families living in homes containing lead paint. The authors compare the industry's obfuscating tactics to those used by the tobacco industry and anticlimate-change forces, both of which leave many children (and society at large) at risk in the service of economic concerns. VERDICT Thoroughly researched and clearly written, this book does an excellent job of illustrating the problem society encounters when science and industry face off over likely harm versus economic benefit.-Richard Maxwell, Porter Adventist Hosp. Lib., Denver (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A deeply conceived and well-written book by two of America's best public health historians. It's also an important background briefing on the politics and ethics of scientific research for journalists who will be covering environmental health issues like these."
"A fascinating new book."
"A fascinating new book."-- Pbs Newshour the Rundown Blog
"In Lead Wars, CUNY's Gerald Markowitz and Columbia University's David Rosner convincingly show that the Baltimore toddler study emerged from a century of policymaking in which the US government, faced at times with a choice between protecting children from lead poisoning and protecting the businesses that produced and marketed lead paint, almost invariably chose the latter."
"In Lead Wars, CUNY's Gerald Markowitz and Columbia University's David Rosner convincingly show that the Baltimore toddler study emerged from a century of policymaking in which the US government, faced at times with a choice between protecting children from lead poisoning and protecting the businesses that produced and marketed lead paint, almost invariably chose the latter."-- New York Review of Books
""Lead Wars" clearly shows that the scandalous and tragic history of lead is one that our society is doomed to repeat over and over again unless we develop and fight for better safeguards against chemicals and new technology."
""Lead Wars" clearly shows that the scandalous and tragic history of lead is one that our society is doomed to repeat over and over again unless we develop and fight for better safeguards against chemicals and new technology."-- Mother Nature Network
-- Pbs Newshour the Rundown Blog
"Thoroughly researched and clearly written, this book does an excellent job of illustrating the problem society encounters when science and industry face off over likely harm versus economic benefit."
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, May 2013
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
In this incisive examination of lead poisoning during the past half century, Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner focus on one of the most contentious and bitter battles in the history of public health. Lead Wars details how the nature of the epidemic has changed and highlights the dilemmas public health agencies face today in terms of prevention strategies and chronic illness linked to low levels of toxic exposure. The authors use the opinion by Marylands Court of Appeals--which considered whether researchers at Johns Hopkins Universitys prestigious Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) engaged in unethical research on 108 African-American children--as a springboard to ask fundamental questions about the practice and future of public health. Lead Wars chronicles the obstacles faced by public health workers in the conservative, pro-business, anti- regulatory climate that took off in the Reagan years and that stymied efforts to eliminate lead from the environments and the bodies of American children.
Main Description
In this incisive examination of lead poisoning during the past half century, Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner focus on one of the most contentious and bitter battles in the history of public health. Lead Wars details how the nature of the epidemic has changed and highlights the dilemmas public health agencies face today in terms of prevention strategies and chronic illness linked to low levels of toxic exposure. The authors use the opinion by Maryland's Court of Appeals--which considered whether researchers at Johns Hopkins University's prestigious Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) engaged in unethical research on 108 African-American children--as a springboard to ask fundamental questions about the practice and future of public health. Lead Wars chronicles the obstacles faced by public health workers in the conservative, pro-business, anti-regulatory climate that took off in the Reagan years and that stymied efforts to eliminate lead from the environments and the bodies of American children.
Table of Contents
Forewordp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Introduction: A Legacy of Neglectp. 1
From Personal Tragedy to Public Health Crisisp. 28
Peeling the Onion: New Layers of the Lead Problemp. 52
The Contentious Meaning of Low-Level Exposuresp. 87
The Rise of Public Health Pragmatismp. 122
Controlled Poisonp. 143
Research on Trialp. 168
Lead Poisoning and the Courtsp. 198
A Plague on All Our Housesp. 215
Notesp. 233
Indexp. 287
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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