Toxic tort and the articulation of environmental risk
Goodie, J. (2008) Toxic tort and the articulation of environmental risk. Law Text and Culture, 12 . pp. 69-102.
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Ten women who work in ABC television news studios and offices in Toowong Brisbane Australia, have developed invasive breast cancer within a relatively short period of time, one of the first diagnoses being in 2002 (Swan 2007). The unhappy coincidence of ten women in the same workplace developing breast cancer is disturbingly insidious. Initial investigations were not able to identify a cause or explanation. A subsequent, very thorough inquiry led by Professor Bruce Armstrong has not been able to identify the specific cause of the breast cancer either, but it has found that the Brisbane ABC studios present an unequivocal risk to health. The incidence of breast cancer in women working at the studios was not considered random or coincidental, it was found to be ten times the expected rate (Armstrong 2006). The studios have now been abandoned, and all ten cases of breast cancer have been designated a rare 'cancer cluster' (Swan 2007).
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