Publisher description for When smoke ran like water : tales of environmental deception and the battle against pollution / Devra Davis.


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In When Smoke Ran Like Water, the world-renowned epidemiologist Devra Davis confronts the public triumphs and private failures of her lifelong battle against environmental pollution. By turns impassioned and analytic, she documents the shocking toll of a public-health disaster--300,000 deaths a year in the U.S. and Europe from the effects of pollution--and asks why we remain silent. She shows how environmental toxins contribute to a broad spectrum of human diseases, including breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and emphysema--all major killers--and in addition how these toxins affect the health and development of the heart and lungs, and even alter human reproductive capacity.But the battle against pollution is not just scientific. For Davis, it's personal: pollution is what killed many in her family and forced the others, survivors of the 1948 smog emergency in Donora, Pennsylvania, to live out their lives with damaged health. She vividly describes that episode and also makes startling revelations about how the deaths from the London smog of 1952 were falsely attributed to influenza; how the oil companies and auto manufacturers fought for decades to keep lead in gasoline, while knowing it caused brain damage; behind-the-scenes accounts of the battle to recognize breast cancer as a major killer; and many other battles. When Smoke Ran Like Water makes a devastating case that our approaches to public health need to change.



Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Environmental health.
Environmentally induced diseases -- Epidemiology.
Smoke -- adverse effects -- Popular Works.
Environmental Pollutants -- adverse effects -- Popular Works.
Risk Factors -- Popular Works.