Environmental Health Risks and Public Policy: Decision Making in Free Societies
Author: David V. Bates
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Release Date: November 01, 1994
Modern industrial societies have created not only the goods and services that add productivity and pleasure to modern life, but also hazardous and unlooked-for side effects. Many significant technological advances - automobiles, fire retardation, durable paints, electrical appliances - have a dark side, their proven or putative implication in major risks to public health. How democratic societies discover and deal with such health hazards is the theme of Environmental Health Risks and Public Policy. Often frightening in its direct recitation of medical evidence, always compelling as the work of a medical man deeply concerned with human health, it examines the ways in which science and public policy interact, sometimes to protect the public, sometimes to thwart prompt action. Environmental Health Risks and Public Policy compares decision making in Canada, Britain, and the United States, and the impact of different political traditions on the process. The book offers conclusions about the central role of environmental epidemiology as the "detective" science in elucidating health effects of human technological advances, and examines the different, often conflicting, sometimes colluding roles of government, industry, and the general public in the debate over public health hazards.