In The Modern Threat of Plastics, the second e-seminar in the series The Politics of Pollution, Professors Rosner and Markowitz focus on plastics—in particular, polyvinyl chloride (PVC)—as the paradigmatic substance of industrial disease of the second half of the twentieth century.
In their two-part series The Politics of Pollution, Professors David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz examine the impact of industrial production on the well-being of workers and consumers alike. They explain how corporations have sought to avoid regulation and scandal by concealing negative health effects associated with their product, and they discuss the public outrage and activism that results when such hazards are revealed.
Today, over 40 million Americans lack health insurance—increasing their risk of receiving poor-quality health care and of becoming ill. The uninsured in America are less likely to receive necessary diagnostic tests and more likely to forego recommended therapies. For example, uninsured children are less likely to be treated for ear infections than children who have health insurance. Similarly, uninsured women are less likely to undergo regular mammograms to screen for breast cancer, while uninsured men are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer at a later stage of the disease.
In Atmosphere: Problems at Ground Level, the fourth of eight e-seminars, Despommier investigates the atmosphere at Earth's surface and the consequences of polluting the air around us. From acid deposition to industrial emissions, polluted air threatens the health of humans and ecosystems alike. Despommier elucidates this concept using text, reading materials, data, and state-of-the-art animation and imagery.
Public Health E-Seminars
This timeline tracks the key events in the relationship between the development of PVC and industry promotion of plastics at the expense of public health.
This photographic essay depicts a series of plants lined up along the Mississippi River in a region that became known as "Cancer Alley."
Go Ask Alice! is Columbia's health question and answer Internet service, which works to increase access to, and use of, health information by providing factual, in-depth, straight-forward, and nonjudgmental information to assist readers' decision-making about their physical, sexual, and emotional health. Topics include relationships, fitness and nutrition, alcohol, nicotine, and drugs.
Access a large database containing detailed information about over 200 research projects related to welfare reform, poverty and other social issues, as well as many free publications.
Easily searchable by location, subject, project leader, program type, and funding source, this directory lists worldwide public-health projects and programs involving Columbia University.
Public Health Learning Tools
In a forum sponsored by the Mailman School of Public Health and U.S. Representative Nita Lowey, D-Westchester, a panel of experts, including outgoing Columbia President Rupp, discuss national and local efforts to prepare for bioterrorist attacks in the months since September 11.
In February 2003, the SARS virus appeared out of nowhere, catching the international medical and scientific community by surprise. In response, the New York Academy of Sciences, in partnership with Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, convened a meeting where scientists and health experts attempted to assess the epidemic, its impacts, and where it might lead.
Because of the shortage of organs, particularly kidneys, patients are traveling to India, China and Eastern Europe to purchase organs, said David Rothman, Bernard Schoenberg Professor of Social Medicine and director of the Center for the Study of Society and Medicine in a lecture on October 8, 2002.
Public Health Events
Marianne Legato of Columbia's Partnership for Gender Specific Medicine and author of Eve's Rib: The New Science of Gender-Specific Medicine and How it Can Save Your Life explores some of the health issues unique to women and men. She also discusses the growing movement to integrate medical research and the movement's implications for disease prevention and treatment.
In this webcast, Associate Professor of Surgery Mehmet Oz argues that although surgeons can transplant organs, it will eventually be easier, more efficient, and better for the patient to use mechanical replacement organs.
Public Health Interviews