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Hardcover The Great Lead Water Pipe Disaster Book

ISBN: 0262201674

ISBN13: 9780262201674

The Great Lead Water Pipe Disaster

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

The author examines the health effects of lead exposure, analysing cases from New York City, Boston, and Glasgow. He draws on period accounts, government reports, court decisions, and economic and demographic analysis to document the nature of the problem, the recognised health threats, and official intransigence.

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Excellent histrical expose about the negative inpacts of lead contamination

Troesken(T) has done an excellent job of demonstrating why lead was used in ,and contined to be used in,water pipes over a period of 150 years despite a great deal of scientific and anecdotal evidence linking the lead to numerous physical ailments being available to city planners during this time period.The answer was that decision makers were penny wise and pound foolish.Lead water pipes were very cheap to build,long lasting,and easy to maintain.One area of discussion that should have been more heavily emphasized was the overwhelming connection between lead exposure and lower IQ scores.Lead exposure from birth to age 10 leads to a loss in IQ of from 6-10 points.The major groups impacted are black and Latino -Hispanic Americans getting their drinking water from city-metropolitan water systems.This accounts for about 40% to 67% of the alleged disparity in IQ scores that is supposed to exist between white and black Americans .These facts are ignored by Herrnstein and Murray in their book" The Bell Curve"(1994).

A Must Read!

Werner Troesken presents the history of lead water pipe use without hyperbole. Instead you get scientific analysis mixed with telling anecdotes and then more scientific analysis. You might think the lack of hype would make for a boring read, but this book is truly fascinating. Mr. Troesken gives us a great example of how we don't see things until we believe in them. The copy I read was borrowed from the library, but I am buying my own copy now.

history, science, policy--what more could you want?

Troesken smoothly integrates several complex topics in a very readable style. If you wondered how lead is so toxic, as well as the surprising level of exposure to it in the past, wonder no more. He carefully establishes how common it was to be exposed to levels of lead in drinking water that were dozens of times higher than the present day EPA maximum. He establishes that public officials were loathe to do anything about it, in large part due to lead's excellent capabilities--it's malleable, strong, and cheap. And ever so toxic. Troesken concludes with a recommendation for further study on an overlooked topic--effects on human health of nonorganic toxins in the past. One more reason I'm glad to be alive now.
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