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

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Overview

Deceit and Denial details the attempts by the chemical and lead industries to deceive Americans about the dangers that their deadly products present to workers, the public, and consumers. Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner pursued evidence steadily and relentlessly, interviewed the important players, investigated untapped sources, and uncovered a bruising story of cynical and cruel disregard for health and human rights. This resulting exposé is full of startling revelations, provocative arguments, and disturbing conclusions—all based on remarkable research and information gleaned from secret industry documents.

This book reveals for the first time the public relations campaign that the lead industry undertook to convince Americans to use its deadly product to paint 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. This book highlights the immediate dangers ordinary citizens face because of the relentless failure of industrial polluters to warn, inform, and protect their workers and neighbors. It offers a historical analysis of how corporate control over scientific research has undermined the process of proving the links between toxic chemicals and disease. The authors also describe the wisdom, courage, and determination of workers and community members who continue to voice their concerns in spite of vicious opposition. Readable, pathbreaking, and revelatory, Deceit and Denial provides crucial answers to questions of dangerous environmental degradation, escalating corporate greed, and governmental disregard for its citizens' safety and health.

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Editorial Reviews

Science
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

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments

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

Conclusion
Notes

Index

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