Scared to Death - How Chemophobia Threatens Public Health

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Am Cncl on Science, Health, Jan 1, 2011 - Science - 122 pages
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If news stories and the Internet are to be believed, the dangers from chemicals are increasing, cancer stalks us at every turn and our children are vulnerable. Synthetic chemicals are essential for modern life, but our views of them are conflicted. Pharmaceuticals keep us healthy. Plastics are found in everything from toys to cars to medical supplies. Pesticides and herbicides boost food production and quality. It's impossible to conceive of life in the 21st century without the materials and fuels that synthetic chemicals have made possible. But from soap to sunscreens, drugs to DDT, we are faced with an endless stream of confusing messages about the safety of chemicals we come in contact with every day. How does the public adjudge hazard, safety and risk? Presented by the American Council on Science and Health, in Scared to Death: How Chemophobia Threatens Public Health, journalist and scholar Jon Entine details how scientists assess the risks and benefits of chemicals. He explains how it's an irrational fear of chemicals that poses the real risk to public health.

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About the author (2011)

Jon Entine has written and edited six other books, including Crop Chemophobia: Will Precaution Kill the Green Revolution (AEI Books, 2010), Abraham's Children: Race, Identity and the DNA of the Chosen People (Grand Central, 2007) and Let Them Eat Precaution: How Politics is Undermining the Genetic Revolution in Agriculture (AEI Books, 2006). A sustainability consultant and founder of ESG MediaMetrics, a columnist for Ethical Corporation magazine and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C., Entine spent 19 years as a network television news executive and producer, winning more than 20 awards including Emmys for specials on the reform movements in China and the Soviet Union. Entine has also served as a lecturer at various universities, including Columbia University, the University of Michigan, Arizona State University, New York University and most recently, Miami University (Ohio), where he was a scholar-in-residence. The American Council on Science and Health is a consumer education consortium concerned with issues related to food, nutrition, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, lifestyle, the environment and health. It was founded in 1978 by a group of scientists concerned that many important public policies related to health and the environment did not have a sound scientific basis. These scientists created the organization to add reason and balance to debates about public health issues and bring common sense views to the public.

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