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April 10, 1972

Environmental Health

JAMA. 1972;220(2):280. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200020088034

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We have needed a modern textbook treating the relationships between man's environment and his health, and Purdom's compendium is an excellent response. It has contemporary essays on most of the important problems but avoids most of the contemporary controversy. It is an excellent introduction to the several subjects which are treated, but it will leave the experts in any of these fields, including those in medicine, feeling somewhat let down. Its major purpose is to provide an introductory textbook and not to provide definitive information. In this respect, it succeeds.

There are sections on disease vectors; on food, with primary emphasis on sanitation and relatively little on the nutrition; on water and waste water; on air as a priceless resource; on solid waste; on ionizing radiation; on environmental control; on the occupational environment; on housing and the residential environment; and on accident prevention. These special sections are sandwiched in between