Fake Silk: The Lethal History Of Viscose Rayon by Paul David BlancFake Silk: The Lethal History Of Viscose Rayon by Paul David Blanc

Fake Silk: The Lethal History Of Viscose Rayon

byPaul David Blanc

Hardcover | November 15, 2016

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When a new technology makes people ill, how high does the body count have to be before protectives steps are taken?

This disturbing book tells a dark story of hazardous manufacturing, poisonous materials, environmental abuses, political machinations, and economics trumping safety concerns. It explores the century-long history of “fake silk,” or cellulose viscose, used to produce such products as rayon textiles and tires, cellophane, and everyday kitchen sponges. Paul Blanc uncovers the grim history of a product that crippled and even served a death sentence to many industry workers while also releasing toxic carbon disulfide into the environment.
Viscose, an innovative and lucrative product first introduced in the early twentieth century, quickly became a multinational corporate enterprise. Blanc investigates industry practices from the beginning through two highly profitable world wars, the midcentury export of hazardous manufacturing to developing countries, and the current “greenwashing” of viscose as an eco-friendly product. Deeply researched and boldly presented, this book brings to light an industrial hazard whose egregious history ranks with those of asbestos, lead, and mercury.
Paul David Blanc, M.D., is professor of medicine and holds the Endowed Chair in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. He is author of How Everyday Products Make People Sick and posts a “Household Hazards” blog for Psychology Today.
Title:Fake Silk: The Lethal History Of Viscose RayonFormat:HardcoverDimensions:328 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 1.12 inPublished:November 15, 2016Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300204663

ISBN - 13:9780300204667

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Editorial Reviews

“Action-packed . . . Reading Fake Silk, I could not help but wonder about the manufacturing process behind my T-shirt or the new dress hanging in my closet. Was someone harmed in the making of the kitchen sponge I just unwrapped?”—Science"Fake Silk shows that our current regressive and refractory attitudes toward worker health protection and occupational health regulation have roots so deep in history and widespread that they must reflect culture rather than politics."—Tee L. Guidotti, MD, MPH, DABT  Fake Silk reminds us that the productivist war is ongoing, and that we have all the scientific and technical capacity to bring it to an end: only political will is lacking.—Pascal Marichalar, CNRS France "It is unusual to find a book that successfully combines a discussion of contemporary pop culture, a detailed analysis of chemical production and a sweeping narrative of the pitfalls in regulating multinational businesses. The book is well paced and well written and will appeal to medical, business and labour historians as well as to those with an interest in writing the global history of a particular product or illness."—Julia Moses, Medical History"Paul Blanc's book compellingly chronicles the all-too-real dangers behind the production of ‘fake’ silk. A terrifying exposé of what happens when the textile business puts profits before health."—Alison Matthews David, author of Fashion Victims:The Dangers of Dress Past and Present“This is an essential read for all interested in the history of occupational disease and of our increasing knowledge, yet failure to implement, the controls needed to reduce the risk of preventable disease and premature death.”—Sir Anthony Newman Taylor, Imperial College, London“Blanc's meticulous research has yielded a calm and overwhelming indictment of the murderous treatment that rayon workers worldwide have endured at the hands of their corporate masters.”—Eric Frumin, Health and Safety Director, US trade union federation Change to Win“A shocking story. Blanc draws back the curtain on the corporate deceit and neglect connected to products that have come to epitomize modern life.”— Frederick Rowe Davis, author of Banned: A History of Pesticides and the Science of Toxicology“A fascinating investigation into the colorful century-long history of a pernicious industrial hazard. A cautionary must-read for anyone who cares about eco-friendly living and integrity too.”—Don Katz, founder, Audible.com