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The Blue Death: The Intriguing Past and Present Danger of the Water You Drink Paperback – August 5, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Water is an absolute necessity and the modern water treatment plant is our defense, however tenuous, against epidemic diarrheal disorders, including the granddaddy of them all- cholera. Still diarrheal diseases are one of the major killers worldwide, ranking with malaria and AIDS. It is especially hard on children. We in the developed world have become so used to having a "safe" water supply that we don't even think about it. But safe water is one of the many unexciting aspects of necessary infrastructure (like bridges and levees) that are closer to the breaking point than any of us want to contemplate. Morris (who is a medical researcher and teacher) has done us all a great favor by pointing out the precarious position that we are all in.
He starts with the history of the famous removal of the Broad Street pump handle in London in the mid 1850s. This removal apparently stopped an epidemic of cholera cold. He points out that even this step was controversial, with "sanitarians" not convinced of the connection between water and disease.Read more ›
There are two bottom lines to this book:
1) Chlorine cannot kill all threats and causes its own damage. It specifically cannot kill cryptosporidium, which can quickly sicken tens of thousands and kill hundreds.
2) Your drinking water is not safe to drink, there are some things you can do, but on balance, the Nation needs a *major* campaign to salvage its entire drinking water and sewage treatment system.
I really, really, like this book. The author is gifted at presenting important information in an easy to understand and almost poetic manner. He really puts life into history, and urgency into current concerns.
I have a note: 5 stars. Truly EXCITING, gripping at every point.
He taught me the value of meta-analysis, and I am going to migrate that to the EarthGame that we are building with Medard Gabel, the brilliant cohort to Buckminster Fuller, whose forthcoming book, Seven Billion Billionaires, I strongly recommend.
Although I have read and strongly recommend ...Read more ›
Other important issues addressed include the fact that the target is always moving because the microbial world is constantly evolving and now new organisms have emerged which can survive chlorine treatment....such as in the case of Milwaukee. And yet public officials still refuse to change the standards after huge disasters like this.
The first half of the book includes the valuable background on the history of water born diseases such as cholora, and just how devastating the death toll was before researchers discovered the connection. While this first half of the book has a lot of valuable information, it's unfortuanately written in a dramatized historical novel style which I personally found annoying.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Primarily a history of early epidemics and pioneers of microbiological disease. If you have already read enough on absurd 19th century theories of disease (miasmas of air/effluvia... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Catamaran'78
I love this book. It's got a way of giving boring information in more of a story form. It really makes one thing about water and our future too.Published 11 months ago by e. spiess
I am working in the water industry plant operations for thirty five years, and never really grasped the utmost importance of water treatment in such a way as presented in this... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Chicagoviews
this book came just in time for me to finish my research paper about our contaminated water...thanks so much for the great servicePublished on September 4, 2013 by Andrea E. Gingrich
People need to be aware of how precious fresh, clean drinking water is. This is a very informative and interesting book.Published on April 11, 2013 by dorian
"The Blue Death: Disease, Disaster and the Water We Drink," by Dr. Robert D. Morris, Harper Collins, NY, 2007. In this 310-page hardback, epidemiologist Dr. Read morePublished on January 14, 2013 by Paul Eckler
Who knew that learning about the history of and critical current global issues surrounding clean drinking water could be a page-turner! A story well researched and well told.Published on January 7, 2013 by CAMJ
I am one of those people who takes for granted the water I drink. At least I did until I read "The Blue Death" by Robert D. Morris. Read morePublished on October 10, 2011 by Daniel Estes