Radon's Deadly Daughters: Science, Environmental Policy, and the Politics of Risk

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Rowman & Littlefield, 1998 - Health & Fitness - 361 pages
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Five years after Three Mile Island awakened Americans to the dread of radioactive release, a new and potentially more consequential radioactive threat was discovered in a Pennsylvania home. Touted as the second major cause of lung cancer, the radon problem was prominent as a leading environmental risk. However, widespread acceptance of this risk has never materialized. In this vibrant account, Edelstein and Makofske unveil the complex mix of social and scientific factors that have led to public and official misunderstanding of the geologic radon issue. The lessons of radon have great relevance in a contaminated world where people are increasingly surrounded by invisible environmental hazards, where uncertainty and controversy shroud a clear understanding of the threat, and where one can choose apathetic acceptance or attempt to discern how to actively protect oneself and one's family.
 

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Contents

From Issue Denial to Issue Acceptance
35
Federal Response to Geologic Radon
53
The Myth of the Dead Bodies
79
The Myth of the Reading Prong
99
The Myth of the Quick Test
117
The Myth of the Quick Fix
145
Avoidance of Regulation
233
The Myth of Decentralization
263
Societal Implications of Radon Exposure
285
Bibliography
321
Index
347
About the Authors
361
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About the author (1998)

Michael R. Edelstein is professor of environmental psychology at Ramapo College in New Jersey and the author of Contaminated Communities. William J. Makofske is professor of environmental physics at Ramapo College and the author of Technology and Global Environmental Issues. Both previously collaborated on Radon and the Environment.

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