Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution

Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution

Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution

Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution

Synopsis

"Deceit and Denial "details the attempts by the chemical and lead industries to deceive Americans about the dangers that their deadly products present to workers, the public, and consumers. Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner pursued evidence steadily and relentlessly, interviewed the important players, investigated untapped sources, and uncovered a bruising story of cynical and cruel disregard for health and human rights. This resulting expose is full of startling revelations, provocative arguments, and disturbing conclusions--all based on remarkable research and information gleaned from secret industry documents.

This book reveals for the first time the public relations campaign that the lead industry undertook to convince Americans to use its deadly product to paint walls, toys, furniture, and other objects in America's homes, despite a wealth of information that children were at risk for serious brain damage and death from ingesting this poison. This book highlights the immediate dangers ordinary citizens face because of the relentless failure of industrial polluters to warn, inform, and protect their workers and neighbors. It offers a historical analysis of how corporate control over scientific research has undermined the process of proving the links between toxic chemicals and disease. The authors also describe the wisdom, courage, and determination of workers and community members who continue to voice their concerns in spite of vicious opposition. Read

Excerpt

The Milbank Memorial Fund is an endowed national foundation that engages in nonpartisan analysis, study, research, and communication on significant issues in health policy. The Fund makes available the results of its work in meetings with decision makers, reports, articles, and books.

This is the sixth of the California/milbank Books on Health and the Public. The publishing partnership between the Fund and the Press seeks to encourage the synthesis and communication of findings from research that could contribute to more effective health policy.

Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner demonstrate the significance for policy of the methods and findings of historical scholarship. On the basis of research that has been reviewed by experts in history, biomedical science, and policy, they describe decisions by executives of corporations that produce lead products and plastics to withhold information about the health hazards of their products and production processes from their employees and regulators. These decisions contributed to the severe illness and death of many employees of these corporations as well as of persons who lived in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The authors' findings are both dismaying and encouraging. On the one hand, executives of major corporations systematically compromised the health of many people. On the other hand, the independence of the American judiciary and the attentiveness of many legislators to the concerns of their constituents brought dangerous situations and their consequences to public attention. This attention yielded compensation for victims and their families and new policy to prevent health hazards in workplaces and communities.

Daniel M. Fox, President Samuel L. Milbank, Chairman Millbank Memorial Fund . . .

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