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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Phantom Risk New ed

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ISBN13: 9780262561198
ISBN: 0262561190
Published: April 1999
Publisher: The MIT Press Ltd
Format: Paperback
Price: £20.95

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Phantom risks are risks whose very existence is unproven and perhaps umprovable, yet they raise real problems at the interface of science and the law. ""Phantom Risk"" surveys a dozen scientific issues that have led to public controversy and litigation - among them, miscarriage from the use of video display terminals, birth defects in children whose mothers used the drug Bendectin, and cancer from low-intensity magnetic fields, and from airborne asbestos. It presents the scientific evidence behind these and other issues and summarizes the resulting litigation.;Focusing on the great disparity between the scientific evidence that is sufficient to arouse public fears and that needed to establish a hazard or its absence, these original contributions probe the problem of scientific ambiguity in risk assessment, and the mayhem this creates in the courtroom.;Although the authors are clearly optimistic about the use of science of detect and evaluate risks, they recognize the difficulty of inferring cause-and-effect relationships from epidemiological (observational) evidence and of inferring risks to humans from high-dose animal experiments, the two major sources of evidence. The final chapter reviews the exceptionally difficult problem of how the legal impact of disputes about phantom risks can be reduced.

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A scientific perspective; a legal perspective.
Part 1 Phantom (or not so phantom) risks: weak magnetic fields - a cancer connection?, Kenneth R. Foster; spermicides and birth defects, James L. Mills; Benedictin and the language of causation, Louis Lasagna and Sheila R. Shulman; miscarriage and video display terminals - an update, Kenneth R. Foster; the legal context.
Part 2 Just a little bit of poison: environmental pollution and cancer - some misconceptions, Bruce N. Ames and Lois Swirsky Gold; asbestos - the hazard, the risk and public policy, Ralph D'Agostino, Jr. and Richard Wilson; the human health effects of polychlorinated biphenyls, Renate D. Kimbrough; trichloroethylene - toxicology and epidemiology - a critical review of the literature, Rudolph J. Jaeger and Arlene L. Weiss; dioxin -perceptions, estimates and measures, Michael Gough; the Three Mile Island nuclear accident and public health consequences, George K. Tokuhata; the fallout controversy, Ralph E. Lapp; the saga of Fernald, Bernard L. Cohen; the legal context.
Part 3 Medical controversy: trauma and cancer, Marvin M. Romsdahl; chemical pollutants and ""multiple chemical sensitivities"", Michael I. Luster et al; immunologic laboratory tests - a critique of the Alcolac decision, Richard S. Cornfeld and Stuart F. Schlossman; the legal context.
Part 4 Conclusion - phantom risk - a problem at the interface of science and the law.