Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution / Edition 1

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This book explains the public relations campaign undertaken by the lead industry to persuade Americans to use its deadly product in painting walls, toys, furniture, and other objects in America's homes despite a wealth of information that children were at risk for serious brain damage and death from ingesting this poison. It describes how European and American plastics industries worked together to keep secret the cancer-producing potential of one of its key ingredients, vinyl chloride monomer, the basic building block of polyvinyl chloride. Terrified that public knowledge would lead to bans or strict regulation, the industry planned an elaborate deception of the government agency responsible for protecting the health of the workforce.
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Editorial Reviews

The authors are prominent historians of public health and their thesis is forcefully articulated and massively documented. . . . They are muckrakers, but extraordinarily well-informed practitioners of that traditional American art. And they have found a good deal of muck to uncover.
St. Louis Dispatch
[O]ught to give thousands of corporate executives insomnia.
Library Journal
This is a historical account of corporate control of the lead, plastics, and petroleum industries and the campaign of denial regarding the toxic effects on workers, consumers, and the general public of chemicals used in the manufacture of paint, toys, furniture, plastics, and other products. Coauthors of Deadly Dust: Silicosis and the Politics of Occupational Disease in Twentieth Century America, Markowitz (history, John Jay Coll. of Criminal Justice, CUNY) and Rosner (history and public health, Columbia Univ.) conducted interviews, examined documents, and pursued additional investigations to expose corporate greed and deception and governmental foot dragging that disregarded public-health risks through much of the 20th century. They allege that industry officials lied about the dangers, failed to protect workers, fooled the public, and kept regulators at bay. Corporate control over scientific research also undermined efforts to inform the public about the relationships between toxic chemicals and disease. However, this is not another diatribe about industrial pollution. Instead, it is a well-researched work that analyzes the conflict between industry's need to provide products that make life easier for consumers and the public's demand for legislation and standards to protect them from toxic pollution caused by the manufacture of these products. Recommended for health, environment, and law collections.-Irwin Weintraub, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Gerald Markowitz is Professor of History at John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. David Rosner is Professor of History and Public Health at Columbia University and Director of the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health. They are coauthors of Children, Race, and Power: Kenneth and Mamie Clark's Northside Center (1996) and Deadly Dust: Silicosis and the Politics of Occupational Disease in Twentieth Century America (1994). They are coeditors of Dying for Work: Safety and Health in the United States (1987) and Slaves of the Depression: Workers' Letters about Life on the Job (1987).
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Table of Contents




Introduction: Industry's Child

The House of the Butterflies

Lead Poisoning among Workers and Consumers

A Child Lives in a Lead World

Cater to the Children

The Promotion of White Lead

Old Poisons, New Problems

Better Living through Chemistry?

Evidence of an Illegal Conspiracy by Industry

Damn Liars

Ol' Man River or Cancer Alley?

A Hazy Mixture

Science, Civil Rights, Pollution, and Politics

Science and Prudent Public Policy




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