When Dr. Janette Sherman was practicing internal medicine in suburban Detroit in the 1970s, she noticed that several of her patients were reporting similar symptoms, and that they all worked in automobile factories. She soon realized that they were all being exposed to the same hazardous chemicals, including arsenic. She shared her findings with the consumer activist Ralph Nader’s Health Research Group, and in 1973 they issued a report on the health of 489 Detroit autoworkers. Their jobs, the report said, were “associated with increased amounts of chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive lung disease, or other disabling and killing diseases.” A chemist by training, she took up toxicology and helped pinpoint how hazardous substances, toxic chemicals and nuclear radiation could lead to cancer, birth defects and other diseases. Some of the chemicals she identified as particularly harmful have since been banned or restricted. She also studied the continuing health effects of the world’s worst nuclear disasters, in 1986 at the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine and in 2011 at the Fukushima plant in Japan.
New York Times 29th Nov 2019 read more »