In When Smoke Ran Like Water, the world-renowned epidemiologist Devra Davis confronts the public triumphs and private failures of her lifelong battle against environmental pollution. She documents the shocking toll of a public-health disaster-300,000 deaths a year in the U.S. and Europe from the effects of pollution-and asks why we remain silent. For Davis, the issue is personal: Pollution is what killed many in her family and forced some of the others, survivors of the 1948 smog emergency in Donora, Pennsylvania, to live out their lives with impaired health. She describes that episode and also makes startling revelations about how the deaths from the London smog of 1952 were falsely attributed to influenza; how the oil companies and auto manufacturers fought for decades to keep lead in gasoline, while knowing it caused brain damage; and many other battles. When Smoke Ran Like Water makes a devastating case for change.
About the Author
Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, directs Pittsburgh's Center for Environmental Oncology and is Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh. Contributor to the Nobel Peace Prize of 2007, she was founding director of the Board on Environmental Studies at the National Academy of Science and presidential appointee to the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. She is the acclaimed author of When Smoke Ran Like Water, Finalist for the National Book Award. She lives in Washington, D.C., and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.