Sacrifice Zones: The Front Lines of Toxic Chemical Exposure in the United States

Sacrifice Zones: The Front Lines of Toxic Chemical Exposure in the United States


By (author) Steve Lerner, Foreword by Phil Brown


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Paperback $14.90
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Format: Hardback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 231mm x 30mm | 612g
  • Publication date: 30 September 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge, Mass.
  • ISBN 10: 0262014408
  • ISBN 13: 9780262014403
  • Sales rank: 859,324

Product description

Across the United States, thousands of people, most of them in low-income or minority communities, live next to heavily polluting industrial sites. Many of them reach a point at which they say "Enough is enough." After living for years with poisoned air and water, contaminated soil, and pollution-related health problems, they start to take action--organizing, speaking up, documenting the effects of pollution on their neighborhoods. In Sacrifice Zones, Steve Lerner tells the stories of twelve communities, from Brooklyn to Pensacola, that rose up to fight the industries and military bases causing disproportionately high levels of chemical pollution. He calls these low-income neighborhoods "sacrifice zones." And he argues that residents of these sacrifice zones, tainted with chemical pollutants, need additional regulatory protections. Sacrifice Zones goes beyond the disheartening statistics and gives us the voices of the residents themselves, offering compelling portraits of accidental activists who have become grassroots leaders in the struggle for environmental justice and details the successful tactics they have used on the fenceline with heavy industry.

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Author information

Steve Lerner is the author of Eco-Pioneers: Practical Visionaries Solving Today's Environmental Problems (1998) and Diamond: A Struggle for Environmental Justice in Louisiana's Chemical Corridor (2006), both published by the MIT Press.

Review quote

"A significant complement to three decades of environmental justice research; it provides irrefutable empirical evidence that not all American communities are created equal." Robert D. Bullard Environmental Health Perspectives