Phantom Risk

Phantom Risk Scientific Inference and the Law

Paperback (26 Feb 1999)

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Publisher's Synopsis

Phantom risks are risks whose very existence is unproven and perhaps umprovable, yet they raise real problems at the interface of science and the law. "Phantom Risk" surveys a dozen scientific issues that have led to public controversy and litigation - among them, miscarriage from the use of video display terminals, birth defects in children whose mothers used the drug Bendectin, and cancer from low-intensity magnetic fields, and from airborne asbestos. It presents the scientific evidence behind these and other issues and summarizes the resulting litigation.;Focusing on the great disparity between the scientific evidence that is sufficient to arouse public fears and that needed to establish a hazard or its absence, these original contributions probe the problem of scientific ambiguity in risk assessment, and the mayhem this creates in the courtroom.;Although the authors are clearly optimistic about the use of science of detect and evaluate risks, they recognize the difficulty of inferring cause-and-effect relationships from epidemiological (observational) evidence and of inferring risks to humans from high-dose animal experiments, the two major sources of evidence. The final chapter reviews the exceptionally difficult problem of how the legal impact of disputes about phantom risks can be reduced.

Book information

ISBN: 9780262561198
Publisher: MIT
Imprint: The MIT Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 346.03
DEWEY edition: 21
Language: English
Number of pages: 457
Weight: 771g
Height: 229mm
Width: 152mm
Spine width: 28mm