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What Risk? - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780750642286, 9780080521008

What Risk?

1st Edition

Paperback edition

Editor: Roger Bate
Paperback ISBN: 9780750642286
eBook ISBN: 9780080521008
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 2nd December 2012
Page Count: 352
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Whether the public or the environment is at risk is a commonly discussed question in numerous areas of public life, most recently and publicly with regard to issues like BSE, passive smoking and the dangers from pesticides in food production. It is therefore of great importance for everyone concerned with these issues - both policy makers and the public who may be subject to their decisions - to understand the basis on which 'risk' policy is made. The principle objective of this book is to highlight the uncertainties inherent in 'scientific' estimates of risk to the public and the environment resulting from exposure to certain hazards.

Numerous examples of potential and real hazards are given. They all show that injury to personal health or the environment is a function not only of the toxicity (i.e. the lethality of a particular hazard) but of the level of exposure to the hazard concerned - in the words of the old maxim, the dose makes the poison.

Existing regulation is criticized for being based on a flawed application of a poor epidemiological methodology, where toxicity is the basis of regulation and dose tends to be ignored. Furthermore, some authors conclude that risk is a subjective phenomenon that cannot be eliminated through regulation.

Key Features

  • Leading international expert authors and contributors
  • Mass-media launch on publication
  • Important new commercial and H&S area of interest


Company Directors, Health and Safety professionals and managers, scientists and researchers in acadaemia, the science media and anyone with an interest in public safety, risk management or perception

Table of Contents

Indoor Air Quality and Epidemiology
Environmental Tobacco Smoke
Ionizing Radiation
Science policy
Risk Perception
Risk and the media


No. of pages:
© Butterworth-Heinemann 1999
2nd December 2012
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Editor

Roger Bate

Affiliations and Expertise

European Science and Environment Forum


"A collection of learned scientists, professors of epidemiology, radiology, pharmacology, microbiology, from Yale, Stockholm, Berkeley, London, Harvard, Glasgow, have published an astonishing book edited by (Roger) Bate. What Risk? Seems to show that our favourite phobias are either irrational or exaggerated." --THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

"It is not often that one comes across a book that reads like the smell of fresh air after being cooped in a smell room; such a book is this." --SAFETY AND HEALTH PRACTITIONER

"I strongly recommend every chemist to read its step-by-step refutation of nine popular myths." --CHEMISTRY IN BRITAIN

"This stimulating book considers the likely effects resulting from the emission of small quantities of potentially harmful toxins into the environment and how these substances should be controlled. A number of specific substances are chosen by the authors, including benezene, asbestos, environmental tobacco smoke, ionising radiation and and dioxins. Nine authors have contributed to the book. Their aim is to bring to the attention of a wider audience scientific literature that may have been overlooked. The book achieves this in a thought-provoking style and is an ideal reference text for those involved in risk management." --OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH

"I strongly recommend this book to all engineers and scientists, as a whiff of sanity in a minefield of risk regulations."

"Topical and controversial, a striking paperback." --OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH, MAY 1999

"An impressive array of alternative and authoritative views on these controversial matters has just been published in a book called 'What Risk? Published on behalf of the independent European Science and Environment Forum, 'What Risk?' consists of chapters written by experts prepared to question the fundamental assumptions behind many public health scares." --THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

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