Current Issues in U.S. Environmental Policy

By Paul R. Portney; A. Myrick Freeman | Go to book overview

ment does nothing and another where the government tries to legislate such substances out of existence. There we also discuss actual federal toxic substance policy, which lies, as we might expect, between these two extremes. In the third section, we point out the shortcomings of current federal policy, some of which are easily correctable while others are less so. There we make specific suggestions for policy reform.


Introduction

Mankind's acute, or immediate, vulnerability to certain substances is a matter of historical record. We know, for example, that Socrates died of hemlock poisoning and that the Borgias routinely dispatched their enemies with lethal mixtures. Such acute effects arise from accidental exposures to less well-known "poisons," as well. For example, more than 4,000 citizens of London died from an extended period of severe air pollution there in 1952. Fortunately, our knowledge of these acute effects continues to grow. Recent studies have linked temporal variations in air pollution within a metropolitan area to acute ophthalmological and other health problems.2

However, our knowledge of the chronic, or long-term, adverse effects of exposures to toxic substances is much less well developed. This is not at all difficult to explain. Latency and uncertainty make chronic toxic substances difficult to recognize and control. By latency we mean the period between exposure to a toxic substance and the manifestation of its effect. By uncertainty we mean our imperfect knowledge of the identity of toxic substances and the way in which they eventually affect health. These problems are discussed at length later in the chapter.

A number of the toxic substances discussed in this chapter are transmitted through air or water. Several were mentioned in chapters 2 and 3. In fundamental ways they often differ from traditional air and water pollutants, and their effects are sufficiently severe to warrant additional discussion. A number of these substances do not imperil their victims through the air and water to which we are all exposed but rather through occupational or voluntary exposures. For this reason, too, the subject of chronically toxic substances merits separate attention.

Two factors account for the increased attention being given toxic substances by Congress and federal administrative agencies. The first is the sheer volume of publicity such substances now receive. The current con

____________________
2
See, for example, Eugene P. Seskin, "An Analysis of Some Acute Health Effects of Air Pollution in the Washington, D.C. Area," Journal of Urban Economics, in press.

-106-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Current Issues in U.S. Environmental Policy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 208

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.