Living with Lead: An Environmental History of Idaho's Coeur D'Alenes, 1885-2011

Living with Lead: An Environmental History of Idaho's Coeur D'Alenes, 1885-2011

by Bradley D. Snow


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The Coeur d’Alenes, a twenty-five by ten mile portion of the Idaho Panhandle, is home to one of the most productive mining districts in world history. Historically the globe’s richest silver district and also one of the nation’s biggest lead and zinc producers, the Coeur d’Alenes’ legacy also includes environmental pollution on an epic scale. For decades local waters were fouled with tailings from the mining district’s more than one hundred mines and mills and the air surrounding Kellogg, Idaho was laced with lead and other toxic heavy metals issuing from the Bunker Hill Company’s smelter. The same industrial processes that damaged the environment and harmed human health, however, also provided economic sustenance to thousands of local residents and a string of proud, working-class communities. Living with Lead endeavors to untangle the costs and benefits of a century of mining, milling, and smelting in a small western city and the region that surrounds it.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822964483
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 05/04/2017
Series: INTERSECTIONS: Histories of Environment Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Bradley D. Snow is assistant teaching professor at Montana State University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 3

1 Uncle Bunker's Town 13

2 The Useful Metal: A Brief History of Lead 37

3 Lead Creek 47

4 Foul Humours 86

5 Raining Down Poison 111

6 On Lead's Front Lines 140

7 A Brave New World 168

Conclusion 190

Epilogue 197

Notes 199

Glossary 261

Selected Bibliography 263

Index 271

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