Cover image for Fighting toxics : a manual for protecting your family community, and workplace
Fighting toxics : a manual for protecting your family community, and workplace
Cohen, Gary, 1956-
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Island Press, [1990]

Physical Description:
xvii, 346 pages ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RA566 .F54 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Fighting Toxics is a step-by-step guide illustrating how to investigate the toxic hazards that may exist in your community, how to determine the risks they pose to your health, and how to launch an effective campaign to eliminate them.

Author Notes

Gary Cohen is former policy director of the National Toxics Campaign, chief administrator of the National Toxics Campaign and chief administrator of the National Toxics Campaign Fund. At the time Fighting Toxics was published, he had ten years of experience as a writer and researcher and had been involved with NTC for five years.

John O'Connor became involved in community health and safety issues because he grew up behind the Raybestos Company, which made asbestos brake liners and emitted asbestos into his community. John watched as many friends and members of his community died due to their exposure to asbestos. He has a light dusting of asbestos in his lungs himself. In the 1970s, he led the fight with Massachusetts Fair Share for a state right-to-know law. In 1983, he helped to found the National Campaign Against Toxics Hazards (which grew into the National Toxics Campaign). He is formerly executive director of the National Toxics Campaign and has been one of the preeminent spokespersons for the nation's grassroots toxics movement.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

A three-part compendium of essays mostly by members of the National Toxics Campaign reviews the toxics crisis and efforts to combat it, American environmental laws and campaigns to enforce and strengthen them, and proposals to solve the problems of pollution. The first section's first entry asserts three rights essential to turning the toxic tide: the right to know which chemicals a corporation is dumping, the right to inspect dumps and factories, and the right to negotiate directly with parties responsible for public health hazards. Subsequent chapters provide guidelines for organizing, planning a corporate campaign, getting information about pollution, executing a neighborhood inspection, and working with the media. The second part explains existing environmental laws and suggests how to go about seeing that they are enforced. The last part, "The Ultimate Solution," emphasizes prevention over correction through such expedients as reducing the use of toxic chemicals and the production of hazardous wastes. The prose throughout is dry but clear, fulfilling well the objective of serving as the basic manual for citizen action against industrial pollution. Resources; to be indexed. --Ray Olson

Library Journal Review

There are over 30,000 toxic waste sites in the United States confirmed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and there may be as many as ten times that number unconfirmed. This manual, compiled over eight years by the nonprofit National Toxics Campaign, is a comprehensive activist guide to toxic threats and cleanup. Going beyond the scope of the excellent Health Detective's Handbook , edited by Marvin S. Legato & others ( LJ 6/15/85; o.p.), this book is written with the idea of effecting long-term solutions and preventing problems. It strongly addresses attempts by U.S. industry, government, etc., to make acceptable the way environmental pollution is dealt with in the United States. Recommended for public libraries.-- Diane M. Brown, Univ. of California Lib., Berkeley (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.