Thomas O. McGarity Harvard University Press, 2008 Library of Congress RA440.87.U6M24 2008 | Dewey Decimal 362.1
Biodiversity and Human Health
Edited by Francesca Grifo and Joshua Rosenthal; Foreword by Thomas E. Lovejoy Island Press, 1997 Library of Congress RA565.A2B56 1997 | Dewey Decimal 610
The implications of biodiversity loss for the global environment have been widely discussed, but only recently has attention been paid to its direct and serious effects on human health. Biodiversity loss affects the spread of human diseases, causes a loss of medical models, diminishes the supplies of raw materials for drug discovery and biotechnology, and threatens food production and water quality.Biodiversity and Human Health brings together leading thinkers on the global environment and biomedicine to explore the human health consequences of the loss of biological diversity. Based on a two-day conference sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution, the book opens a dialogue among experts from the fields of public health, biology, epidemiology, botany, ecology, demography, and pharmacology on this vital but often neglected concern.Contributors discuss the uses and significance of biodiversity to the practice of medicine today, and develop strategies for conservation of these critical resources. Topics examined include: the causes and consequences of biodiversity loss emerging infectious diseases and the loss of biodiversity the significance and use of both prescription and herbal biodiversity-derived remedies indigenous and local peoples and their health care systems sustainable use of biodiversity for medicine an agenda for the future In addition to the editors, contributors include Anthony Artuso, Byron Bailey, Jensa Bell, Bhaswati Bhattacharya, Michael Boyd, Mary S. Campbell, Eric Chivian, Paul Cox, Gordon Cragg, Andrew Dobson, Kate Duffy-Mazan, Robert Engelman, Paul Epstein, Alexandra S. Fairfield, John Grupenhoff, Daniel Janzen, Catherine A. Laughin, Katy Moran, Robert McCaleb, Thomas Mays, David Newman, Charles Peters, Walter Reid, and John Vandermeer.The book provides a common framework for physicians and biomedical researchers who wish to learn more about environmental concerns, and for members of the environmental community who desire a greater understanding of biomedical issues.
Biodiversity Change and Human Health brings together leading experts from the natural science and social science realms as well as the medical community to explore the explicit linkages between human-driven alterations of biodiversity and documented impacts of those changes on human health. The book utilizes multidisciplinary approaches to explore and address the complex interplay between natural biodiversity and human health and well-being. The five parts examine
health trade-offs between competing uses of biodiversity (highlighting synergistic situations in which conservation of natural biodiversity actually promotes human health and well-being);
relationships between biodiversity and quality of life that have developed over ecological and evolutionary time;
the effects of changing biodiversity on provisioning of ecosystem services, and how they have affected human health; the role of biodiversity in the spread of infectious disease;
native biodiversity as a resource for traditional and modern medicine
Biodiversity Change and Human Health synthesizes our current understanding and identifies major gaps in knowledge as it places all aspects of biodiversity and health interactions within a common framework. Contributors explore potential points of crossover among disciplines (both in ways of thinking and of specific methodologies) that could ultimately expand opportunities for humans to both live sustainably and enjoy a desirable quality of life.
As our world becomes increasingly urbanized, an understanding of the context, mechanisms, and consequences of city and suburban environments becomes more critical. Without a sense of what open spaces such as parks and gardens contribute, it’s difficult to argue for their creation and maintenance: in the face of schools needing resources, roads and sewers needing maintenance, and people suffering at the hands of others, why should cities and counties spend scarce dollars planting trees and preserving parks?
In Constructed Climates, ecologist William G. Wilson demonstrates the value of urban green. Focusing specifically on the role of vegetation and trees, Wilson shows the costs and benefits reaped from urban open spaces, from cooler temperatures to better quality ground water—and why it all matters. While Constructed Climates is a work of science, it does not ignore the social component. Wilson looks at low-income areas that have poor vegetation, and shows how enhancing these areas through the planting of community gardens and trees can alleviate social ills. This book will be essential reading for environmentalists and anyone making decisions for the nature and well-being of our cities and citizens.
From anthrax to asbestos to pesticides, industrial toxins and pollutants have troubled the world for the past century and longer. Environmental hazards from industry remain one of the world's foremost killers.Dangerous Trade establishes historical groundwork for a better understanding of how and why these hazards continue to threaten our shrinking world.
In this timely collection, an international group of scholars casts a rigorous eye towards efforts to combat these ailments. Dangerous Trade contains a wide range of case studies that illuminate transnational movements of risk—from the colonial plantations of Indonesia to compensation laws in late 19th century Britain, and from the occupational medicine clinics of 1960s New York City to the burning of electronic waste in early twenty-first century Uruguay.
The essays in Dangerous Trade provide an unprecedented broad perspective of the dangers stirred up by industrial activity across the globe, as well as the voices rasied to remedy them.
Environmental Health has established itself as the most succinct and comprehensive textbook on the subject. This extensively revised and rewritten third edition continues this tradition by incorporating new developments and by adding timely coverage of topics such as environmental economics and terrorism.
As in previous volumes, the new edition presents balanced assessments of environmental problems, examining their local and global implications, their short- and long-range impacts, and their importance in both developed and less developed countries of the world. The Third Edition also addresses emerging issues such as environmental justice, deforestation, the protection of endangered species, multiple chemical sensitivity, and the application of the threshold concept in evaluating the effects of toxic and radioactive materials.
Whether discussing acid rain, ozone depletion, global warming, or more traditional subjects such as the management and control of air, water, and food, Dade Moeller emphasizes the need for a systems approach. As with previous volumes, Environmental Health, Third Edition, offers a depth of understanding that is without peer. While it covers technical details, it is also a book that anyone with an interest in the environment can pick up and browse at random.
Fighting Toxics is a step-by-step guide illustrating how to investigate the toxic hazards that may exist in your community, how to determine the risks they pose to your health, and how to launch an effective campaign to eliminate them.
Like many industrialized regions, the Philadelphia metro area contains pockets of environmental degradation: neighborhoods littered with abandoned waste sites, polluting factories, and smoke-belching incinerators. However, other neighborhoods within and around the city are relatively pristine. This eye-opening book reveals that such environmental inequalities did not occur by chance, but were instead the result of specific policy decisions that served to exacerbate endemic classism and racism.
From Workshop to Waste Magnet presents Philadelphia’s environmental history as a bracing case study in mismanagement and injustice. Sociologist Diane Sicotte digs deep into the city’s past as a titan of American manufacturing to trace how only a few communities came to host nearly all of the area’s polluting and waste disposal land uses. By examining the complex interactions among economic decline, federal regulations, local politics, and shifting ethnic demographics, she not only dissects what went wrong in Philadelphia but also identifies lessons for environmental justice activism today.
Sicotte’s research tallies both the environmental and social costs of industrial pollution, exposing the devastation that occurs when mass quantities of society’s wastes mix with toxic levels of systemic racism and economic inequality. From Workshop to Waste Magnet is a compelling read for anyone concerned with the health of America’s cities and the people who live in them.
In Histories of Dirt Stephanie Newell traces the ways in which urban spaces and urban dwellers come to be regarded as dirty, as exemplified in colonial and postcolonial Lagos. Newell conceives dirt as an interpretive category that facilitates moral, sanitary, economic, and aesthetic evaluations of other cultures under the rubric of uncleanliness. She examines a number of texts ranging from newspaper articles by elite Lagosians to colonial travel writing, public health films, and urban planning to show how understandings of dirt came to structure colonial governance. Seeing Lagosians as sources of contagion and dirt, British colonizers used racist ideologies and discourses of dirt to justify racial segregation and public health policies. Newell also explores possibilities for non-Eurocentric methods for identifying African urbanites’ own values and opinions by foregrounding the voices of contemporary Lagosians through interviews and focus groups in which their responses to public health issues reflect local aesthetic tastes and values. In excavating the shifting role of dirt in structuring social and political life in Lagos, Newell provides new understandings of colonial and postcolonial urban history in West Africa.
Carl F. Cranor Harvard University Press, 2010 Library of Congress RA566.3.C73 2010 | Dewey Decimal 363.7363
Take a random walk through your life and you’ll find it is awash in industrial, often toxic, chemicals. Sip water from a plastic bottle and ingest bisphenol A. Prepare dinner in a non-stick frying pan or wear a layer of Gore-Tex only to be exposed to perfluorinated compounds. Hang curtains, clip your baby into a car seat, watch television—all are manufactured with brominated flame-retardants. Cosmetic ingredients, industrial chemicals, pesticides, and other compounds enter our bodies and remain briefly or permanently. Far too many suspected toxic hazards are unleashed every day that affect the development and function of our brain, immune system, reproductive organs, or hormones. But no public health law requires product testing of most chemical compounds before they enter the market. If products are deemed dangerous, toxicants must be forcibly reduced or removed—but only after harm has been done. In this scientifically rigorous legal analysis, Carl Cranor argues that just as pharmaceuticals and pesticides cannot be sold without pre-market testing, other chemical products should be subject to the same safety measures. Cranor shows, in terrifying detail, what risks we run, and that it is entirely possible to design a less dangerous commercial world.
For more than a century, we have relied on chemical cures to keep our bodies free from disease and our farms free from bugs and weeds. We rarely consider human and agricultural health together, but both are based on the same ecology, and both are being threatened by organisms that have evolved to resist our antibiotics and pesticides. Patients suffer from C.diff, a painful, potentially lethal gut infection associated with multiple rounds of antibiotics; orange groves rot from insect-borne bacteria; and the blight responsible for the Irish potato famine outmaneuvers fungicides. Our chemicals are failing us.
Fortunately, scientists are finding new solutions that work with, rather than against, nature. Emily Monosson explores science’s most innovative strategies, from high-tech gene editing to the ancient practice of fecal transplants. There are viruses that infect and bust apart bacteria; vaccines engineered to better provoke our natural defenses; and insect pheromones that throw crop-destroying moths into a misguided sexual frenzy. Some technologies will ultimately fizzle; others may hold the key to abundant food and unprecedented health. Each represents a growing understanding of how to employ ecology for our own protection.
Monosson gives readers a peek into the fascinating and hopeful world of natural defenses. Her book is full of optimism, not simply for particular cures, but for a sustainable approach to human welfare that will benefit generations to come.
“Cost-benefit analysis” is a term that is used so frequently we rarely stop to think about it. But relying on it can lead to some dubious conclusions, as Frank Ackerman points out in this eye-opening book. For example, some economists have argued that states should encourage—and even subsidize—cigarette smoking by citizens because smoking will shorten life spans and therefore reduce the need and expense of caring for the elderly. How did the economists reach that conclusion? The answer is cost-benefit analysis, Ackerman explains.
Then in clear, understandable language, he describes an alternative, precautionary approach to making decisions under uncertainty. Once a mere theory, the precautionary principle has now been applied in practice through the European Union’s REACH protocol. Citing major studies, many of which he has directed, he shows that the precautionary approach has not only worked, but has been relatively cheap.
Poisoned for Pennies shows how the misuse of cost-benefit analysis is impeding efforts to clean up and protect our environment, especially in the case of toxic chemicals. According to Ackerman, conservatives—in elected office, in state and federal regulatory agencies, and in businesses of every size—have been able to successfully argue that environmental clean-up and protection are simply too expensive. But he proves, that is untrue in case after case.
Ackerman is already well known for his carefully reasoned attacks on the conventional wisdom about the costs of environmental regulation. This new book, which finds Ackerman ranging from psychological research to risk analysis to the benefits of aggressive pesticide regulation, and from mad cow disease to lead paint, will further his reputation as a thought leader in environmental protection. We can’t afford not to listen to him.
Contaminants in fish. Ocean dumping. Biological diversity/integrity and endangered species. Pinelands and forest preservation. Wetlands protection. Watersheds and headwaters. In Protecting New Jersey's Environment these concerns translate into real human interest stories about people and their surroundings not only in the state-a critical site for the growth of environmentalism-but all around the country as well.
And you can add even more to the list-ozone depletion, nuclear power, toxic waste, sprawl, racial inequity, brownfields remediation versus environmental justice concerns. Through a series of gripping accounts organized by geographic area, Thomas Belton considers key environmental issues in New Jersey and champions the ways common citizens have sought justice when faced with unseen health threats. Often, as people search for remedies in their neighborhoods, the challenges they face result in what Belton calls bare-knuckles environmental protection, replete with back-room political deals, infighting, criminals, and hapless victims.
With people as its focus, Protecting New Jersey's Environment explores the science underpinning environmental issues and the public policy infighting that goes undocumented behind the scenes and beneath the controversies. Belton demonstrates the ways that scientists, regulators, lobbyists, and politicians interact and offers the public a go-to guide on how to seek environmental protection in practical ways.
When an environmental news story breaks, the first place to turn for background on the issue is The Reporter's Environmental Handbook, now available in an updated and expanded third edition. Here, journalists can find the fast facts they need to accurately cover complex and controversial environmental stories ranging from indoor and outdoor air quality to sprawl and bioterrorism.
West Nile Virus -- Mad Cow Disease -- HIV/AIDS -- Hantavirus -- Lyme Disease ... and a new strain of Salmonella. Such modern epidemics have emerged over the past few decades as mysterious, yet significant risks to human health. These "plagues" are forcing us to modify our lifestyles in ways that minimize our chances of becoming a statistic in the latest tally of the afflicted.
In Six Modern Plagues, Mark Jerome Walters offers us the first book for the general reader that connects these emerging health risks and their ecological origins. Drawing on new research, interviews, and his own investigations, Mark Jerome Walters weaves together a compelling argument: that changes humans have made to the environment, from warming the climate to clearing the forests, have contributed to, if not caused a rising tide of diseases that are afflicting humans and many other species.
According to Mark Jerome Walters, humans are not always innocent bystanders to infectious disease. To the contrary, in the case of many modern epidemics, we are the instigators. Six Modern Plagues, a ground-breaking introduction to the connection between disease and environmental degradation should be read by all those interested in their health and the health of others.
With all of the negative media about environmental threats over the last four decades, is it any wonder that most people believe disaster is just around the corner? But despite what the media would lead us to believe, annual reports from the Surgeons General show that Americans are the healthiest they have ever been, are becoming healthier and are, in fact, the healthiest people on the planet.
In You’ve Been Had!, Melvin Benarde aims to set the record straight and counteract the culture of complaint and worry with an unbiased account of the scientific facts — facts which suggest we are worried and frightened about the wrong things. Contrary to what the media would have us believe, he argues that the environmental factors that most adversely affect our health are those that are within our power to alter, such as smoking, diet, drugs, stress, guns speed, exercise, and basic safety precautions. Topics covered include: carcinogens and anti- carcinogens; dietary supplements and neutraceuticals; food safety, pasteurization and irradiation; genetically modified foods; microbial threats to health; hazardous and toxic waste; radiation and skin cancer; global warming; risk-taking; obesity, asthma, violence and longevity. Benarde also looks at the ways the media reports science and evidence-based medicine.