No Safe Place: Toxic Waste, Leukemia, and Community Action

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University of California Press, Oct 10, 1997 - Health & Fitness - 284 pages
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Toxic waste, contaminated water, cancer clusters—these phrases suggest deception and irresponsibility. But more significantly, they are watchwords for a growing struggle between communities, corporations, and government. In No Safe Place, sociologists, public policy professionals, and activists will learn how residents of Woburn, Massachusetts discovered a childhood leukemia cluster and eventually sued two corporate giants. Their story gives rise to questions important to any concerned citizen: What kind of government regulatory action can control pollution? Just how effective can the recent upsurge of popular participation in science and technology be? Phil Brown, a medical sociologist, and Edwin Mikkelsen, psychiatric consultant to the plaintiffs, look at the Woburn experience in light of similar cases, such as Love Canal, in order to show that toxic waste contamination reveals fundamental flaws in the corporate, governmental, and scientific spheres.

The authors strike a humane, constructive note amidst chilling odds, advocating extensive lay involvement based on the Woburn model of civic action. Finally, they propose a safe policy for toxic wastes and governmental/corporate responsibility. Woburn, the authors predict, will become a code word for environmental struggles.
 

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Contents

History and Significance of the Woburn Cluster
7
2 The Formation of an Organized Community
43
Effects of the Woburn Cluster
75
Popular Epidemiology
125
Securing Future Health
164
Notes
201
Bibliography
225
Index
245
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Phil Brown is Professor of Sociology at Brown University and Lecturer in Sociology, Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry. Edwin J. Mikkelsen is Director of the Division of Child Psychiatry at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center and Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry.

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