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Environmental Health Toxic Deception: How the Chemical Industry Manipulates Science, Bends the Law and Endangers Your Health

JAMA. 2000;283(1):121-122. doi:10.1001/jama.283.1.121.
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If you have ever wondered why:

  • your corner dry cleaner still uses a chemical that is a known cancer-causing agent contributing the greatest amount of hydrocarbon solvent air pollution in homes, and why much of our clothing still has labels saying "dry clean only," even when cheaper and safer water-based alternatives have existed and have been used in other countries for years;

  • farmers continue to use toxic weed killers, such as atrazine, that have been banned in other countries, contaminate drinking water from wells and lakes, and that have been associated with cancer and birth defects in farming communities, despite safer organic alternatives;

  • people living in mobile homes or working in newly built or renovated offices often complain of strange odors and increased symptoms of respiratory problems that have been linked to a known carcinogen, formaldehyde, in pressed wood products, but no effective regulation is in place to control this ubiquitous indoor air pollutant;

  • when we suspect that our patients may have been poisoned by a pesticide mixed with "inert ingredients" we have such difficulty finding out what the inert ingredients may include; then you will be enlightened by this well-researched book by investigative reporters Dan Fagin, environmental writer for Newsday, and Marianne Lavelle, senior editor at US News & World Report. This second edition calls for a return to the Hippocratic principles of "First Do No Harm" and indicts the US regulatory and judicial system for protecting chemical companies first and public health last. It is a disturbing chronicle of the all-too-successful efforts of the multinational chemical companies to subvert scientists, purchase legislators, delay effective regulation, and hog-tie government regulators.


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