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Air, the Environment and Public Health


  • Author: Anthony Kessel, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
David Greaves, Tony McMichael
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  • Date Published: April 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521157735

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About the Authors
  • Air, the Environment and Public Health traces the theme of air and health from ancient civilisations onwards. The author explores the changing conceptions of air and health alongside historical developments in public health, and critically examines contemporary problems - conceptual, scientific, philosophical and ethical - in public health theory and practice. The first part surveys air and health in early civilisations, as well as the nineteenth-century debates around miasma and evolution. The second part explores the history of smoke pollution and health. Part three examines philosophical issues around modern air pollution epidemiology, and part four looks at climate change and ethical frameworks in public health. The book is a unique blend of public health science, history of medicine, ethics and philosophy. It will be of interest to those working or studying in public health, environmental health, medicine, history of medicine, environmental philosophy, and medical ethics.

    • Interdisciplinary, it is a blend of public health science, history of medicine, ethics and philosophy
    • Relevant to contemporary concerns about air pollution and climate change
    • Suitable for students of public health and professional practitioners
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Anthony Kessel takes his readers on a remarkable journey that transcends time, place, and academic discipline. A true polymath, he draws on a wide range of disciplinary perspectives to explore our interaction with the air that we breath, encompassing both what it does to us and, increasingly, what we are doing to it. As we move from the philosophy of the ancient Greeks to the consequences of climate change for social justice by way of the techniques of quantitative risk assessment we learn why it is necessary for anyone truly interested in the health of populations to climb out of their intellectual silos and begin the ascent to a place from where they can begin to understand the remarkable complexity of the world we inhabit.' Professor Martin McKee CBE, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

    'Air has always played a role in human interpretation and understanding of health, and we are reminded of this today by disease names such as malaria, and by the presence of scattered high altitude TB sanatariums now converted to other use. Air, the Environment and Public Health explores the interrelationship of air and health from earliest recorded history to the present, as empirical scientific knowledge has gradually replaced former beliefs and misunderstandings. Because of its in-depth exploration of 21st century issues such as environmental ethics and climate change, and its linking of these issues to historical events in England during the preceding 150 years, Anthony Kessel's book is a timely and important read for all students and practitioners of public health, environmental health, medicine, philosophy, and the history of medicine.' Professor David Heymann, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Chairman of the Health Protection Agency

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521157735
    • length: 258 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Glossary of terms and abbreviations
    Foreword David Greaves and Tony McMichael
    Part I. Whole Air:
    1. Early conceptions of air and health
    2. Miasma, contagion, and survival of the fittest
    Part II. Polluted Air:
    3. As far as is practicable: air pollution policy and public health in England, 1800–1900
    4. Hot air but little action: air pollution policy and public health in England, 1900–1939
    5. Disaster, reductionism and personal responsibility: air pollution policy and public health, 1939–1970
    Part III. Air Pollution, Epidemiology and Public Health: Theoretical and Philosophical Considerations:
    6. Measuring the health effects of polluted air: quantitative risk assessment case-study
    7. Epidemiological theory and philosophical considerations
    8. Public health, philosophy and the nature of evidence
    Part IV. New Horizons:
    9. Climate change: science and utilitarianism
    10. Climate change, social justice, and other moral frameworks
    11. The bigger picture: environmental ethics and new moral horizons in public health
    12. Conclusions and recommendations

  • Author

    Anthony Kessel, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine


    David Greaves, Tony McMichael

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