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Inevitably Toxic
Historical Perspectives on Contamination, Exposure, and Expertise
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Not a day goes by that humans aren't exposed to toxins in our environment - be it at home, in the car, or workplace. But what about those toxic places and items that aren't marked? Why are we warned about some toxic spaces' substances and not others? The essays in Inevitably Toxic consider the exposure of bodies in the United States, Canada and Japan to radiation, industrial waste, and pesticides. Research shows that appeals to uncertainty have led to social inaction even when evidence, e.g. the link between carbon emissions and global warming, stares us in the face. In some cases, influential scientists, engineers and doctors have deliberately "manufactured doubt" and uncertainty but as the essays in this collection show, there is often no deliberate deception. We tend to think that if we can't see contamination and experts deem it safe, then we are okay. Yet, having knowledge about the uncertainty behind expert claims can awaken us from a false sense of security and alert us to decisions and practices that may in fact cause harm.


Toxicity, Uncertainty, and Expertise Vivien Hamilton and Brinda Sarathy
Part One: Radiation
1. X-ray Protection in American Hospitals Vivien Hamilton
2. Contested Knowledge: The Trinity Test Radiation Studies Janet Farrell Brodie
3. Crossroads in San Francisco: The Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory and its Afterlives Lindsey Dillon
4. Born Opaque: Investigating the Nuclear Accident at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory William Palmer

Part Two: Industrial Toxins
5. Making Way for Industrial Waste: Water Pollution Control in Southern California, 1947-1955 Brinda Sarathy
6. Processing the Past into Your Future: Uncovering the Hidden Consequences of Industrial Development in the West Texas Petrochemical Industry Sarah Stanford-McIntyre
7. Vast, Incredible Damage: Herbicides and the US Forest Service James G. Lewis and Char Miller
8. Los Angeles's Neighborhood Oil Drilling and Environmental Justice Bhavna Shamasunder
Part Three: Community Contestation, Expanding Expertise
9. Atomic Bomb Survivors, Medical Experts, and the Endlessness of Radiation Illness Naoko Wake
10. On Sovereignty, Deficits, and Dump Fires: Risk Governance in an Arctic "Dumpcano Alexander R.D. Zahara
Containment: Discussing Nuclear Waste with Peter Galison
Interview by Vivien Hamilton and Brinda Sarathy


ISBN-13: 9780822966128
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: June, 2019
Pages: 280
Weight: 655g
Availability: Available
Subcategories: Pharmacology


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