Pub. Date:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Pub. Date:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
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This book, named one of Booklist's Top 10 books on sustainability in 2014, is the first to offer a comprehensive examination of the environmental health movement, which unlike many parts of the environmental movement, focuses on ways toxic chemicals and other hazardous agents in the environment effect human health and well-being. Born in 1978 when Lois Gibbs organized her neighbors to protest the health effects of a toxic waste dump in Love Canal, New York, the movement has spread across the United States and throughout the world. By placing human health at the center of its environmental argument, this movement has achieved many victories in community mobilization and legislative reform. In The Rise of the U.S. Environmental Health Movement, environmental health expert Kate Davies describes the movement’s historical, ideological, and cultural roots and analyzes its strategies and successes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442221376
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 03/28/2013
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Kate Davies has been active on environmental health issues for thirty-five years in the United States and Canada. She has worked with numerous nongovernmental and governmental organizations including Greenpeace, the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, the Institute for Children’s Environmental Health, the International Joint Commission and the Royal Society of Canada. She is currently core faculty at Antioch University Seattle’s Center for Creative Change and Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington.

Table of Contents


Environmental Health
The US Environmental Health Movement
This Book

Part 1: Historical and Cultural Roots
Chapter 1: The European Ancestry of Environmental Health
The Philosophy of Ancient Greece
The Engineering Achievements of Rome
The Spread of Judeo-Christian Religions
The Scientific Revolution and the Nature of Science
Social Justice and the Enlightenment
The Environmental Health Consequences of the Industrial Revolution
New Policies and Legislation
Recognizing and Preventing Environmentally-Related Diseases

Chapter 2: Early Environmental Public Health
The Environmental Health Consequences of the American Industrial Revolution
Environmental Public Health Concerns
Occupational Health: Working with the Urban Poor
The Home as an Environment for Protecting Health
The Progressive Era and Environmental Conservation
The Origins of Urban Planning
Preventing Environmentally-Transmitted Diseases

Chapter 3: Environmentalism and Economic Growth
Post World War II Economic Growth and the Creation of a Consumer Society
The Environmental Health Effects of Air Pollution
The Environmental Health Effects of Water Pollution
The Environmental Health Effects of Food Quality
The Antinuclear Movement and the Precedents It Set
New Ideas: Toxic Chemicals
New Ideas: Deep Ecology and Social Ecology
New Ideas: Population Growth and Resource Depletion
The Rise of Environmentalism
EPA and the Final Separation of Environmental and Public Health
The Relationship Between the Environmental Movement and the Labor Movement
The Toxic Substances Control Act and Other Environmental Legislation of the 1970s

Chapter 4: The Birth of the US Environmental Health Movement
Love Canal and Its Aftermath
The Beginnings of the Environmental Justice Movement
The Role of Disasters in Building the Environmental Health Movement
Struggles for Regional Environmental Health in the Great Lakes
Winning the Battle Against Waste Incineration
Opposition to Pesticides: An Ongoing Struggle
Securing the Right to Know
Toxics Use Reduction and Pollution Prevention: Limited Success
The Lead Saga
Newer Challenges: Endocrine Disruptors and Epigenetics

Part II: The Contemporary Movement
Chapter 5: Organizations and Issues
The Movement’s Strongest Asset: State and Local Groups
The Roles of National Groups
The Influence of European Toxics Policy
The Louisville Charter
The Emergence of National Coalitions
Communications and Getting the Word Out
The Importance of Women’s Organizations
Alliances with Labor Organizations
New Ways of Framing Environmental Health: Judeo-Christian Religions
Beyond Toxics: Nanotechnology
Beyond Toxics: Electromagnetic Fields
Beyond Toxics: Fossil Fuels
Beyond Toxics: Urban Planning and Green Building
The Significance of Foundation Funding

Chapter 6: Making Environmental Issues Personal
Gaining Support from People Affected by Environmentally-Related Disease
Working with Caregivers - Nurses
Working with Caregivers – Physicians
Engaging the Health Care Sector
Protecting Children’s Environmental Health
Food, Glorious Food
Opposing Toxics in Consumer Products
And in Personal Care Products
Pollution in People

Chapter 7: Precaution and the Limitations of Science
The Impossibility of Proving Environmental Causation
The Failure to Consider Ethics
The Distortion and Cover-up of Scientific Information
Problems with Risk Assessment
Overview of Precaution
The Ingredients of Precaution
Progress on Precaution

Chapter 8: Environmental Justice and the Right to a Healthy Environment
Perspectives on Environmental Justice
Constitutional and Legal Rights to a Healthy Environment
Scientific Information on Environmental Health Injustice in the US
Environmental Justice Issues
Community-Based Research
Environmental Justice Strategies
The US Environmental Justice and Environmental Health Movements

Chapter 9: Changing Economics, the Markets and Business
The Cost of Environmental Illness
Market Campaigns: Overview
Market Campaigns: PVC Products and Packaging
Market Campaigns: Electronics
Market Campaigns: The Health Sector
Green Chemistry and Safer Materials
Socially Responsible Investing
Partnerships with Business

Conclusion and Next Steps: Strategies for Social Change
Strategies for Social Change
Creating Inspiring Visions
Minding the Gap between our Collective Aspirations and Reality
Seeing the Forest and the Trees
Identifying Leverage Points for Environmental Health
Organizing More, Collective Action
Telling Environmental Health Stories
Final Reflections

A Chronology of Key Events in US Environmental Health

Selected Resources on Environmental Health

What People are Saying About This

Michael Lerner

The Rise of the US Environmental Health Movement is an ambitious book in the best sense of the word. Davies seeks to synthesize a tremendous amount of information, and to begin to write history as it is happening. She has made an invaluable contribution to all those who care – or should care – about what environmental contaminants are doing to us and to all life on earth.

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