Preview: The Toxic Politics of Science

On this week’s Moyers & Company, Bill talks with David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz, public health historians who’ve been taking on the chemical industry for years — writing about the hazards of industrial pollution and the neglect of worker safety — despite industry efforts to undermine them. Their latest book, Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America’s Children, is the culmination of 20 years of research. In it, the authors warn that, for young children, there’s no safe level of exposure to this dangerous toxin still lurking in millions of homes.

Rosner and Markowitz discuss thwarted efforts to hold the lead industry accountable, failed attempts to find cheap solutions, and the cost to the future of our children. As long as the chemical industry and its powerful lobbies prevail in blocking efforts to reform outdated laws, the authors say, we will continue to float in a soup of toxins — inhaling, drinking, and absorbing chemicals that we may learn, years later, have put us all in harm’s way.

Also on the show, Bill is joined by the heads of two independent watchdog groups keeping an eye on government as well as on powerful interests — like chemical companies — seeking to influence it. Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics and, and Danielle Brian, who runs the Project on Government Oversight, talk to Bill about the importance of transparency to our democracy, and their efforts to scrutinize who’s giving money, who’s receiving it, and most importantly, what’s expected in return.

Learn more about the production team behind Moyers & Company. Watch the full show »

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  • Tamara Rubin

    For more Rosner & Markowitz – please check out MisLEAD: America’s Secret Epidemic, a documentary film project of the Lead Safe America Foundation

  • Daniela G. Eco-Poet (member)

    Dearest Bill Moyers,
    Your show is always most vital and we watch if every week. We’d like to see more about Climate Crisis, the most important issue of all facing all of life on Earth with a huge threat of extinction how. Have you had Dr. James Hansen, climatologis or Bill McKibben, environmentalist on lately? They’d make a GREAT due of ethos and credibility and vital information as well as activism. The show about toxins in marvelous, too, but climate catastrophe is upon us with 400 parts per million of our atmosphere full of more carbon emissions than the HABITABLE planet can take. We have to get carbon down to 350 arts per million to survive and we are over the top with the ice caps melting faster than predicted, as you know. PLEASE STRESS THIS VITAL ISSUE FROM EVERY ANGEL. By the way, we subscribe to Channel 13, PBS mainly to support your important and interesting program.
    Your fans for many years,
    Daniela Gioseffi, Editor
    American Book Award winning author of 16 bks. of poetry and prose and social conscience.
    and mate, Allan B. Rubin, M.D. retired psychiatrist and radiologist.

  • Dani Eco-Poet

    Forgive the type-o’s in my last message, Bill, but we’d love to see you do more about Climate Crisis Catastrophe and its solutions. Have you had Bill McKibben and Dr. James Hansen, or Al Gore on for his book OUR CHOICE: A PLAN TO SOLVE THE CLIMATE CRISIS lately? Dr. Hansen NASA scientist and Bill McKibben, environmental activist and Al Gore would make a fabulous show together. It would a a classic program on the most VITAL ISSUE EVER FACING ALL OF LIFE ON habitable EARTH. Please do consider it. We LOVE your program and it is the most vital program on PBS. We are supporters of 13 BECAUSE of your show in particular and have been your fans for years.
    Dr. and Ms. Daniela Gioseffi Rubin, M.D.
    American Book Award winning author of books on social and environmental justice.