The Polluters by Benjamin Ross
The Making of Our Chemically Altered Environment

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Synopsis

The chemical pollution that irrevocably damages today's environment is, although many would like us to believe otherwise, the legacy of conscious choices made long ago. During the years before and just after World War II, discoveries like leaded gasoline and DDT came to market, creating new hazards even as the expansion and mechanization of industry exacerbated old ones. Dangers still felt today--smog, pesticides, lead, chromium, chlorinated solvents, asbestos, even global warming--were already recognized by chemists, engineers, doctors, and business managers of that era. A few courageous individuals spoke out without compromise, but still more ignored scientific truth in pursuit of money and prestige.
The Polluters reveals at last the crucial decisions that allowed environmental issues to be trumped by political agendas. It spotlights the leaders of the chemical industry and describes how they applied their economic and political power to prevent the creation of an effective system of environmental regulation. Research was slanted, unwelcome discoveries were suppressed, and friendly experts were placed in positions of influence, as science was subverted to serve the interests of business. The story of The Polluters is one that needs to be told, an unflinching depiction of the onslaught of chemical pollution and the chemical industry's unwillingness to face up to its devastating effects.
 

About Benjamin Ross

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Benjamin Ross was president of Maryland's Action Committee for Transit for 15 years, which grew under his leadership into the nation's largest grass-roots transit advocacy group. He is a consultant on environmental problems and served on committees of the National Academy of Sciences and EPA Science Advisory Board. He writes frequently on political and social topics in Dissent Magazine and is the author of The Polluters: The Making of Our Chemically Altered Environment.
 
Published August 4, 2010 by Oxford University Press, USA. 234 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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As the authors summarize America’s pollution history from 1860 to the 1960s, readers will squirm as offending industries routinely brush off feeble local and state efforts and commiserate with sympathetic officials of the Bureau of Mines (the only federal office with pollution oversight).

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The story of The Polluters is one that needs to be told, an unflinching depiction of the onslaught of chemical pollution and the chemical industry's unwillingness to face up to its devastating effects.

Sep 26 2010 | Read Full Review of The Polluters: The Making of ...

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