Regulating Toxic Substances: A Philosophy of Science and the Law

Paperback | June 1, 1997

byCarl F. CranorAs told byGeorge E. Brown

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The proliferation of chemical substances in commerce poses scientific and philosophical problems. The scientific challenge is to develop data, methodologies, and techniques for identifying and assessing toxic substances before they cause harm to human beings and the environment. Thephilosophical problem is how much scientific information we should demand for this task consistent with other social goals we might have. In this book, Cranor utilizes material from ethics, philosophy of law, epidemiology, tort law, regulatory law, and risk assessment, to argue that the scientificevidential standards used in tort law and administrative law to control toxics ought to be evaluated with the purposes of the law in mind. Demanding too much for this purpose will slow the evaluation and lead to an excess of toxic substances left unidentified and unassessed, thus leaving the publicat risk. Demanding too little may impose other costs. An appropriate balance between these social concerns must be found. Justice requires we use evidentiary standards more appropriate to the legal institutions in question and resist the temptation to demand the most intensive scientificevaluation of each substance subject to legal action.

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From Our Editors

Toxic substances, such as carcinogens, pose threats to human health and well-being. Whether such threats are substantial and our response to them if they are present major scientific and philosophical issues. Yet such substances pose special problems. They are invisible, typically undetectable intruders that can harm us in ways we migh...

From the Publisher

The proliferation of chemical substances in commerce poses scientific and philosophical problems. The scientific challenge is to develop data, methodologies, and techniques for identifying and assessing toxic substances before they cause harm to human beings and the environment. Thephilosophical problem is how much scientific informa...

From the Jacket

Toxic substances, such as carcinogens, pose threats to human health and well-being. Whether such threats are substantial and our response to them if they are present major scientific and philosophical issues. Yet such substances pose special problems. They are invisible, typically undetectable intruders that can harm us in ways we migh...

Carl F. Cranor is at University of California, Riverside.

other books by Carl F. Cranor

Toxic Torts: Science, Law, and the Possibility of Justice
Toxic Torts: Science, Law, and the Possibility of Justi...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.21 × 6.1 × 0.79 inPublished:June 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195113780

ISBN - 13:9780195113785

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From Our Editors

Toxic substances, such as carcinogens, pose threats to human health and well-being. Whether such threats are substantial and our response to them if they are present major scientific and philosophical issues. Yet such substances pose special problems. They are invisible, typically undetectable intruders that can harm us in ways we might not discover for years.

Editorial Reviews

"Thought-provoking and offers fuel for debate on this complex topic....The book can be easily read and understood by both the technical and nontechnical reader, and is recommended to those involved in the science of toxicology, regulators, and the legal profession."--Journal of the Instituteof Environmental Sciences