Environmental Justice and Contested Illnesses
This introductory chapter examines the relationship between contested illnesses and environmental health. Recent contested illness struggles have moved into the realms of environmental and ecological health, as mounting scientific evidence has linked environmental and human well-being. Disturbing trends in human health statistics, such as declining sperm counts, rising rates of fertility problems in young women, and increasing rates of breast, testicular, and prostate cancers suggest environmental causes. The prevalence of asthma and certain neurological problems in children also appear to be on the rise. Although environmental links to human disease remain strongly contested, scientific evidence suggests that increasing and pervasive chemical exposure where people live, work, and play may partially explain these trends.
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