HOW SAFE IS THE WATER WE DRINK?
keen eyes of a scientist and the sensibilities of a seasoned writer, Dr. Robert
Morris chronicles the fascinating and at times frightening story of our drinking
water. His gripping narrative vividly recounts the epidemics that have shaken
cities and nations, the scientists who reached into the invisible and emerged
with controversial truths that would save millions of lives, and the economic
and political forces that opposed these researchers in a ferocious war of ideas.
gritty world of nineteenth-century England, amid the ravages of cholera, Morris
introduces John Snow, the physician who proved that the deadly disease could be
hidden in a drop of water. Decades later in the deserts of Africa, the story
follows Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch as they raced to find the cause of cholera
and a means to prevent its spread. In the twentieth century, burgeoning cities
would subdue cholera and typhoid by bending rivers to their will, building
massive filtration plants, and bubbling poisonous gas through their drinking
water. However, with the arrival of the new millennium, the demon of waterborne
disease is threatening to reemerge, and a growing body of research has linked
the chlorine relied on for water treatment with cancer and stillbirths.
In The Blue
Death, Morris dispels notions of fail-safe water systems. Along the way he
reveals some shocking truths: the millions of miles of leaking water mains,
constantly evolving microorganisms, and the looming threat of bioterrorism,
which may lead to catastrophe. Across time and around the world, this riveting
account offers alarming information about the natural and man-made hazards
present in the very water we drink.
ROBERT D. MORRIS is an environmental epidemiologist and a leading researcher in
the field of drinking water and health. He has taught at Tufts University School
of Medicine, Harvard University School of Public Health, and the Medical College
of Wisconsin, and has served as an adviser to the EPA, CDC, NIH, and the
President's Cancer Panel. His work has been featured in the New York Times and
the Times of London, and on Dateline NBC and the BBC. He lives in Seattle,
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