Silent Scourge: Children, Pollution, and Why Scientists Disagree

Silent Scourge: Children, Pollution, and Why Scientists Disagree

Silent Scourge: Children, Pollution, and Why Scientists Disagree

Silent Scourge: Children, Pollution, and Why Scientists Disagree

Synopsis

How does pollution impact our daily quality of life? What are the effects of pollution on children's development? Why do industry and environmental experts disagree about what levels of pollutants are safe? This clearly written book, traces the debates over five key pollutants - lead, mercury, noise, pesticides, and dioxins and PCBs - and provides an overview of the history of each pollutant, basic research findings, and the scientific and regulatory controversies surrounding it. It focuses, in particular, on the impact of these pollutants on children's psychological development, their intellectual functioning, behaviour, and emotional states. Only by understanding the impact of pollution can we prevent future negative effects on quality of life and even pollution disasters from occurring. This volume will be of great interest to parents, child health care experts, public health officials, regulators, and health and environmental lawyers.

Excerpt

Controversies swirl around environmental issues. Future generations will be affected dramatically by decisions our society makes today, just as all of us now are being affected by the environmental policies made in the last several generations. It is our responsibility to think about the world we are leaving for future generations and about how our decisions as individuals and as a culture impact the future. For most of us, those thoughts start at home with our own children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. I think that the public should know as much as possible about the effects of pollution on children's development, why the experts argue about those effects, and how different decision criteria and ethical considerations are inextricably intertwined in both science and policy.

This book reviews some of the best science on how pollution affects the quality of our children's lives and examines why scientific experts often disagree about the best science. By “quality of life” I mean intellectual functioning, behavior, and emotional states—overall development and psychological well-being. Most news coverage of environmental issues is heavily slanted toward cancer or toward broad issues such as global warming and deforestation. Those issues are very important. But how pollution affects daily quality of life is equally important and seriously neglected.

One of the main points of this book is that we do not need a “body count” of deaths or cancer cases in order to conclude that a category of pollution has serious developmental effects. Most children are exposed to some degree to all . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.