When men and women who work with toxic materials get sick, everyone needs to worry. The toxic circles of industrial hazards spread in successive waves outward: from the workplace to the home, to the neighborhood, and to the community at large. These compelling essays tell how the links between cancers and working with radium, waxes, and dyes were uncovered and how poisoning from lead, mercury, dioxin, and chromium in and around the factory was detected. They document how corporations, government agencies, courts, unions, physicians, workers, and citizens have tried to igre, evade, and finally battle the terrible legacy of industrial disease. The book focuses on New Jersey, the heart of industrial America, where three centuries of experience with occupational and environmental disease offer hard-earned lessons to the rest of the country and the world.Many of the contributors bring a direct personal involvement in the stories they have to tell. For example, Michael Gordon and Lynn D. Kelly represented workers and community in a major lawsuit against Diamond Shamrock over dioxin contamination; Ellen K. Silbergeld, Ph.D., a scientist at the University of Maryland, was an expert witness in the trial. Helene A. Stapinski was the reporter with The Jersey Journal who broke the story about chromium contamination in Jersey City. Dr. John J. Thorpe and Dr. John G. Lione, corporation physicians in the oil refining industry, report on their own and their predecessors' efforts to prevent scrotal cancer in wax pressmen. Dr. Richard P. Wedeen has sought better ways to detect and prevent lead poisoning. Other contributors are: David Michaels, Ph. D., M.P.H., William D. Sharpe, M.D., Christopher C. Sellers, M.D., Ph.D., and Francis P. Chinard, M.D.For anyone concerned with the environment, toxic hazards, and public health, this book will be essential reading.
Helen E. Sheehan, Ph.D., is a medical sociologist at St. John's University. Richard P. Wedeen, M.D., Associate Chief of Staff for Research, Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center in East Orange, New Jersey, is the author of the classic history of lead poisoning, Poison in the Pot. He is the past president of the New Jersey Medical History Society. The book is illustrated with stunning historical prints as well as contemporary documentary photographs by Lynn Butler.