Uncertain hazards: environmental activists and scientific proof

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Cornell University Press, 2000 - Nature - 168 pages
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Ordinary citizens frequently organize around environmental issues on which little scientific evidence exists to back activists' claims. Should we then dismiss such claims as spurious? Or should we side with citizens against the polluters?Uncertain Hazards takes neither path. In exploring the all-too-common problem of scientific uncertainty about links between pollution and public health, Sylvia Noble Tesh shows that much of the problem can be traced to the newness of the environmental movement. The inability of scientists to find data corroborating citizens' claims stems partly from the "pre-environmentalist" assumptions still influencing the environmental health sciences, Tesh says. On the other hand, the conviction of activists that industrial pollutants threaten their health results from the environmental movement's success in promoting new ideas about nature.Tesh points to ways that environmentalist ideas have begun to affect science, thus making more likely the discovery of links between exposure to industrial pollutants and a community's health problems. Those ways include the expansion of diseases construed as environment

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Contents

Chapter Two Environmental Health Research
24
Chapter Three New Ideas about Nature
40
Chapter Four Environmentalist Science
62
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