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From The CriticsReviewer: J. Thomas Pierce, MBBS PhD(Navy Environmental Health Center)
Description: This book presents a lively description of environmental health and epidemiology from the perspective of public health. Robert Friis possesses an impressive ability to clearly present the complex interactions and relationships pertinent to environmental health.
Purpose: The purpose is to inform the reader about key areas of environmental health and hopefully generate enthusiasm about this field. The book follows a sequence of major topics, beginning with background material and tools of the trade (environmental epidemiology, environmental toxicology, and environmental policy and regulation). It then covers specific agents of environmental disease (microbial agents, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation). Finally, applications and domains of environmental health are addressed (water and air quality, food safety, waste disposal, and occupational health).
Audience: The author indicates that the book is intended for graduate and undergraduate students who take environmental health courses in a variety of educational settings.
Features: Part I covers the background of the field: environmental health in society, environmental epidemiology, toxicology, and policy. Part II reviews agents of environmental disease: zoonotic and vector-borne diseases, toxic metals and elements, pesticides and other organic chemicals and ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. Part III covers applications of environmental health: water quality, air quality, food safety, solid and liquid wastes, and occupational health.
Assessment: The author's service in public health epidemiology and his experience in the classroom shine in this book. Browsing through his chapters covering environmental epidemiology, toxicology, and policy will give readers an idea of the public health philosophy he endorses. I particularly like his insistence upon a quantitative treatment of environmental health principles. Clearly, his treatment favors medicine over engineering but not to excess. The list of authors of similar environmental health books is long and distinguished, which indicates to me that this book will face some competition in a field that begs for diversity. This book is a valuable cornerstone for the emerging Essentials of Public Health series.