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December 3, 1997

Environmental Health

Author Affiliations

International Center for Toxicology and Medicine Rockville, Md


by Dade W. Moeller, 480 pp, with illus, $49.95, ISBN 0-674-25859-2, Cambridge, Mass, Harvard University Press, 1997.

JAMA. 1997;278(21):1793. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550210091051

Environmental Health compresses a vast subject into a thorough, easily readable, 400+-page survey. Compiled as the syllabus for a course that the author taught at Harvard, this text spans a wide landscape covering subjects as diverse as toxicology, injury control, waste management, epidemiology, and disaster response. Because of its ambitious breadth, knowledgeable professionals in any of the covered fields would find the book too superficial. However, for beginning students, individuals considering career paths in environmental health, and anyone simply interested in exploring the field, Environmental Health is an excellent place to begin.

As I was reading Environmental Health, I asked myself whether it would be of value to the clinician. The answer is a qualified "perhaps." It is not a compendium of environmental or occupational medicine. It cannot, for example, be compared to Occupational, Industrial and Environmental Toxicology,1 or Environmental Medicine,2 or the Textbook of Clinical Occupational and