In myriad ways, humans have gradually tailored their world to meet immediate material needs. In so doing, we have, in the minds of many, systematically altered a formerly hospitable environment into one more ambiguous in its effect on the human organism. Just as environments have adapted in response to human activity, so too is the human body now, in turn, forced to adapt to these altered conditions. Today, mysterious illnesses, from chronic fatigue to Gulf War Syndrome, meet us at every turn. Yet even as an increasing number of people attribute ailments to environmental problems, the suspected relationships between illness and environment remain unclear.
Illness and the Environment examines how sick people and their allies struggle to achieve public recognition of somatic complaints and disabilities that they contend are related to "manufactured environments." The first of its kind, the anthology considers the political, legal, and medical conflicts arising from these illnesses, and will prove invaluable to researchers, scholars, public policy makers, trial attorneys, and activist organizations.