Author: Arlene Katzman
Category: Hazardous waste
Chemical Contamination and Its Victims is a comprehensive analytical study of three major problems surrounding chemical pollution: the medical and scientific aspects of chemical hazards; the legal responses to chemical intoxication; and the role of the insurance industry and federal mechanisms like the Superfund in matters related to chemical contamination. The contributors are united in their belief that reform is necessary in each of these areas if victims are to be appropriately compensated for the effects of increasingly frequent chemical pollution. The book begins by discussing medical and scientific advances in the field of chemical hazards. The contributors draw from the disciplines of toxicology, epidemiology, pathology, and environmental health to show the extent to which medicine is limited in dealing with chemical hazards and their human and environmental side-effects. A middle section, written by legal experts, defines toxic torts, explores the courts' responses to actions brought by chemical victims, and examines the less than satisfactory attempts of Congress to compensate these victims. In the final section, the contributors look at the three different insurance plans that carry the burden of compensating victims of environmental disasters. They conclude that the present systems neither adequately protect industry nor adequately compensate victims and that the federal government may need to play a more active role in ensuring that the polluter pays and equitable compensation is granted. Ideal as supplemental reading for courses in business law, environmental medicine, public health, and public policy, this book offers a cogent statement of the dimensions and dynamics of the chemical victims problem.