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 Brodeur continues to sound the urgent alarm he's rung in Currents of Death (1989) and elsewhere about the dangers of electromagnetic fields (EMF) produced by power lines. Here, the author amasses compelling evidence that exposure to EMF causes or promotes cancer; that utility companies continue to deny the existence of any health hazard; and that state and federal health agencies have been reluctant to acknowledge the problem, let alone deal with it. Two major portions of the text- -material on cancer clusters in Guilford, Connecticut, and at the Slater School in Fresno, California--appeared originally in The New Yorker. Besides recounting in meticulous detail the actions and frustrations of concerned citizens in these two situations, Brodeur has researched numerous other instances in which citizens and power companies have clashed over the EMF issue. His account of EPA's shifting position provides an unflattering view of a federal agency succumbing to political pressure. Drawing parallels with the tobacco and asbestos industries' resistance to epidemiological evidence that their products are carcinogenic, Brodeur foresees that power companies will continue to claim that the scientific evidence against EMF is inconclusive. The legal battle is still in its early stages, and, according to the author, the ultimate outcome may well depend on how much public pressure is brought to bear on government health officials to view the power-line hazard as a medical problem rather than as a political and economic one. Brodeur must be credited with helping to keep this issue in the public eye. Vigorous and persuasive reporting, backed by impressive research.

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 1993
ISBN: 0-316-10909-6
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1993