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The Illusion of Certainty

Health Benefits and Risks

Authors: Rifkin, Erik, Bouwer, Edward

  • Foreword is written by Dr. Jared Cohon, President of Carnegie Mellon University
  • Of interest to millions of people who are concerned with true benefit of screening tests such as mammography, prostate cancer screening, cholesterol screening and colorectal cancer screening
  • Informs the public on true risks and benefits of taking statins, drugs such as Vioxx™, the risks of smoking and the risks of exposure to environmental contaminants such as dioxin, mercury and radon
  • Provides practical information and tools to make informed decision on risk and benefits
  • Book is written to explain complex concepts in an accessible manner
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Buy this book

eBook $44.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-387-48572-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-0-387-48570-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $59.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-0-387-75165-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

The Illusion of Certainty: Health Benefits and Risks peels away the "veneer of certainty" which many of us attach to health risk and benefit information given to us in our daily lives. It was written and designed primarily to assist the public in comprehending and interpreting the uncertainty associated with the overwhelming amount of information on medical and environmental health risks.  The book uses unique, visual presentations and case studies to explain the benefits of medical screening tests (e.g., mammography, prostate and colorectal cancer screening, cholesterol screening) and drugs (e.g., statins, Vioxx™) and the risks associated with exposure to environmental contaminants (e.g., lead, dioxin, radon).  This book will help patients and their families get more involved in making medical decisions, and citizens face critical questions about the environment. By putting the complexities of risk analysis in terms the general public can relate to, the authors are empowering people to make well-informed decisions.

About the Authors:

Erik Rifkin is the president of an environmental consulting firm that specializes in the characterization of ecological and human health risks from exposure to soil, water, air and sediments. His firm provides assistance and guidance to federal and state regulatory agencies and corporations regarding the nature and magnitude of environmental risks and potential remediation strategies. Dr. Rifkin's broad experience includes the communication of health risks and benefits to groups concerned with these issues. 

Edward J. Bouwer is Professor of Environmental Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.  He has extensive experience with water and soil pollution and treatment.  His research provides guidance on defining and managing environmental risks and how to interpret human and ecological health risk data.  Dr. Bouwer has served on several National Research Council committees that provide guidance on managing human and ecological risk

Guest Author Bob Sheff, MD, received his medical training as a radiologist at UCLA and Johns Hopkins Medical Center. He spent his career praticing medicine and running one of the largest medical managed-care systems in the U.S. Now semi-retired, he devotes his time to helping non-profit organizations and individual people address their medical concerns. He lives in Columbia, Maryland.

Written for:
Undergraduate, graduate, medical and nursing students, engineers, government advisory agencies, research scientists, lawyers, politicians and anyone interested in risk analysis and the interpretation of risk values.

About the authors

Erik Rifkin is the president of an environmental consulting firm that specializes in the characterization of ecological and human health risks from exposure to soil, water, air and sediments. His firm provides assistance and guidance to federal and state regulatory agencies and corporations regarding the nature and magnitude of environmental risks and potential remediation strategies. Dr. Rifkin's broad experience includes the communication of health risks and benefits to groups concerned with these issues. 

Edward J. Bouwer is Professor of Environmental Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.  He has extensive experience with water and soil pollution and treatment.  His research provides guidance on defining and managing environmental risks and how to interpret human and ecological health risk data.  Dr. Bouwer has served on several National Research Council committees that provide guidance on managing human and ecological risks to Congress, regulatory agencies, and the scientific community.

Reviews

From the reviews:

"The aim is principally to assist the public in comprehending and interpreting health benefit and risk information, and provide them with the basic methods that will allow them to make their own judgements. … A significant feature of the book is the introduction of a new way of assisting the reader to conceptualise the absolute risk or benefit to an individual. … It could be used as a reference book by a member of the public … ." (Roy Mooney, SCOPE, June, 2008)


Table of contents (18 chapters)

  • The Illusion of Certainty

    Pages 3-14

  • Cause and Effect vs. Risk Factors

    Pages 15-29

  • Reframing the Debate

    Pages 31-36

  • Assessing Human Health Risks from Environmental Contaminants

    Pages 37-52

  • The Sources of Uncertainty

    Pages 53-70

Buy this book

eBook $44.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-387-48572-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-0-387-48570-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $59.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-0-387-75165-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Illusion of Certainty
Book Subtitle
Health Benefits and Risks
Authors
Copyright
2007
Publisher
Springer US
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag US
eBook ISBN
978-0-387-48572-0
DOI
10.1007/978-0-387-48572-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-387-48570-6
Softcover ISBN
978-0-387-75165-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XX, 239
Number of Illustrations and Tables
28 b/w illustrations
Topics