Synopses & Reviews
Toxic waste, contaminated water, cancer clustersthese phrases suggest deception and irresponsibility. But more significantly, they are watchwords for a growing struggle between communities, corporations, and government. In No Safe Place
, sociologists, public policy professionals, and activists will learn how residents of Woburn, Massachusetts discovered a childhood leukemia cluster and eventually sued two corporate giants. Their story gives rise to questions important to any concerned citizen: What kind of government regulatory action can control pollution? Just how effective can the recent upsurge of popular participation in science and technology be? Phil Brown, a medical sociologist, and Edwin Mikkelsen, psychiatric consultant to the plaintiffs, look at the Woburn experience in light of similar cases, such as Love Canal, in order to show that toxic waste contamination reveals fundamental flaws in the corporate, governmental, and scientific spheres.
The authors strike a humane, constructive note amidst chilling odds, advocating extensive lay involvement based on the Woburn model of civic action. Finally, they propose a safe policy for toxic wastes and governmental/corporate responsibility. Woburn, the authors predict, will become a code word for environmental struggles.
"An excellent and readable account of the toxic waste crisis in Woburn, Massachusetts, and the courageous efforts by local citizens to protect their community. The Woburn story is an inspiring lesson for citizens across the country struggling to protect the environment from polluters and unresponsive government officials."Senator Edward Kennedy
About the Author
Phil Brown is Professor of Sociology at Brown University and Lecturer in Sociology, Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry. Edwin J. Mikkelsen is Director of the Division of Child Psychiatry at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center and Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry.
Table of Contents
Foreward, by Jonathan Harr
Town in Turmoil: History and Significance of the Woburn Cluster
The Formation of an Organized Community
The Sickness Caused by "Corporate America": Effects of the Woburn Cluster
Taking Control: Popular Epidemiology
Making It Safe: Securing Future Health