Canada’s Largest Show Features Dr. Paul Blanc

Canada’s most-listened to radio show The Current featured a fascinating interview with Paul D. Blanc, M.D. today. Hosted by Anna Maria Tremonti, one of Canada’s most trusted journalists, The Current airs weekday mornings across their country over the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC), and is heard across the U.S. on SiriusXM.

Here’s an excerpt from their summary:

For well over a century, viscose rayon has been used to make clothes, tires, cellophane and everyday kitchen sponges.

It was hailed as a wondrous new product when first introduced — but what most people didn’t know is how deadly manufacturing rayon was for the factory workers.

It’s an industrial hazard whose egregious history ranks up there with asbestos, lead and mercury, according to author Paul Blanc.

In his new book Fake Silk: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon (published by Yale University Press), Blanc, who is also a University of California professor of medicine, looks at how the manufacturing of viscose rayon served as a death sentence for many industry workers.

“There was a famous rubber factory where they put bars on the second story windows because so many workers had a tendency to jump out and kill themselves,” he tells The Current’s guest host Laura Lynch.

The key ingredient in the making of viscose is a molecule called carbon disulfide — a molecule so insidiously toxic that it devastated the minds and bodies of factory workers for more than a century.

Blanc says that occupational health and multinational corporations were aware of the dangers, but motivated by huge profits, failed to act.

“It was pretty easy to recognize the toxic effects early on because it makes workers insane. They found that about 30 per cent of the workers that they investigated showed signs of serious poisoning.”

But when it comes to the health impact on consumers, Blanc says there is none.

“Which is why … it’s gone on as long. Because when consumers aren’t affected, there’s not very much impetus for outrage if it’s just the poor people making it that suffer.”

Blanc says the fabric continues to this day to be “greenwashed” as an eco-friendly product.

“They omit entirely the fact that you can’t make the product without this toxic chemical. So it’s really a ‘greenwashing’ of the most diabolical sort.”

Listen to the full conversation HERE.

This interview is part of our comprehensive publicity campaign for Fake Silk. Are you looking for a publicist, a publicity firm for nonprofits, a PR firm for small business, or an independent book publicist? Carney & Associates specializes in science pr and sustainability topics. Please contact Kathlene Carney for a free consultation to find out how our publicity services can contribute to your success.

 

The Atlantic Features “Fake Silk”

In The Atlantic, James Hamblin recently wrote a fascinating feature about FAKE SILK: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon by Paul David Blanc, M.D.

Here’s an excerpt from “The Buried Story of Male Hysteria: When men actually began to be diagnosed as ‘hysterics,’ doctors searched for a cause. They found a chemical that may be on the rise again today.”

When a raving 27-year-old man was committed to Hudson River State Hospital for the Insane in April of 1887, no one thought much of it.

But 12 days later, another man arrived at the door in much the same incoherent condition. When the men regained awareness and could be interrogated, it turned out that they worked in the same nearby rubber factory.

That summer, a third man was brought to the hospital, where he was described as “in a condition of great mental excitement, disturbing the neighborhood by loud noises and violent praying.” He, too, turned out to be a co-worker.

The chief of the Nervous Department at New York’s College of Physicians and Surgeons at the time was Frederick Peterson. He knew these three cases couldn’t be a coincidence, so he set out interrogating the workers on the nature of their jobs. As he suspected, the men had all inhaled a chemical in the factory’s air: carbon disulfide.

Peterson had heard of carbon-disulfide insanity in Europe, so he alerted his colleagues in The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal (now known as The New England Journal of Medicine) that the problem had come to America. In England, the new term “gassed” had arisen, defined in the Liverpool Daily Post as “the term used in the India rubber business, and it meant dazed.” The British physician Thomas Oliver had recalled watching as people working in rubber factories left after their shifts and “simply staggered home,” apart from themselves. The effect could be deadly. “Some of them have become the victims of acute insanity,” Oliver wrote, “and in their frenzy have precipitated themselves from the top rooms of the factory to the ground.”

This article is part of our comprehensive publicity campaign for Fake Silk. Are you looking for a publicist, a publicity firm for nonprofits, a PR firm for small business, or an independent book publicist? Carney & Associates specializes in science pr and sustainability topics. Please contact Kathlene Carney for a free consultation to find out how our publicity services can contribute to your success.

All-Electric America: A Climate Solution and the Hopeful Future

PORTLAND, OR . . . A host of modern-day Edisons have invented technology that can now power all of our energy needs with electricity generated completely by renewable energy. So what’s the hold up? At this point, waiting to go electric is like saying we shouldn’t have used the personal computer in 1985 until the smartphone was invented. It is time for the utility industry, politicians, and consumers to wake up to the opportunity that this energy transformation will provide.

bookpublicityIn All-Electric America: A Climate Solution and the Hopeful Future, authors S. David Freeman, former utility CEO, and Leah Y Parks, a journalist in the electricity industry, present a practical course of action offering the best hope for eliminating disastrous climate change. With fascinating insight, these experts evaluate the latest research, technology, and energy policies, and lay out a comprehensive plan with achievable goals and a clear timeline.

Along the way, Freeman and Parks debunk common misconceptions about renewable energy:

It’s too expensive!”
Renewable energy is actually cheaper than fossil fuels.

“It’s not practical!”
Renewable energy sources are superabundant and can be distributed in massive quantities.

“We don’t have the technology!”
Current tech can meet all our energy needs many times over with solar and wind sources alone.

Not only is renewable energy better for the environment, it’s cheaper, more sustainable, more price stable, and safer than our current sources. Our country is poised for a twenty-first century energy revolution, and All-Electric America shows us how to do it.

David Freeman is a leading authority on energy policy. He was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as head of Tennessee Valley Authority, one of the nations largest electric utilities. After 7 years at TVA, he spent 30 years as the CEO of major public utilities in Texas, California, and New York. He then served as Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles for Energy and the Environment. He is currently a senior advisor to Friends of the Earth and has authored three books on energy including, “A Time to Choose.”

Leah Y Parks is an associate editor for ElectricityPolicy.com and Electricity Daily, a journal and daily newsletter that examine current events and the state of the electricity industry for utility executives, commissioners, regulators, and other experts in the field. She is also a freelance writer, has acted as an advisor for technology reports, and has written extensively about innovations in energy storage, smart grid technology, energy infrastructure, and renewable energy.

At Carney & Associates, we specialize in providing publicity services for authors and experts who improve our world. To find out how we can provide PR services for your book, product or organization, please contact publicist Kathlene Carney.

PR Gaining Well-Deserved Respect in 2016

In an age where traditional advertising has become skippable, blockable, and opt-out-able, businesses are increasingly recognizing the power and importance of publicity and public relations.

As a publicist specializing in media relations for more than 20 years, I had to smile at a recent article in Advertising Age, How Public Relations Is Earning Its Place in 2016.

Traditionally, advertising agencies don’t really understand PR and now they’re scrambling to get up to speed. They’re learning the difference between “buying eyeballs” and “earning them.” When you’re earning eyeballs, your job is to create content that’s newsworthy.

Here are some excerpts from the piece:

“Edelman, the largest independent PR agency, is ‘getting not just a seat at the table, we’re getting half the table,’ said Jackie Cooper, global chair-creative strategy at the firm.

“Where PR used to be tacked onto a campaign after the creative was finished, Edelman is now working with brands and advertising agencies from the very beginning. The agency has been working hand-in-hand with Adobe’s creative teams, for example, from the start of the creative process to build digital activations for the software company’s creative products. Edelman won the Gold PR Lion in 2015 at Cannes for its work on the Adobe Photoshop ‘Murder Mystery’ campaign.

“Sarah Hofstetter, CEO of 360i, who worked in communications earlier in her career, said PR agencies are waking up to the power they can yield beyond media relations. “Marketers really look at how they get the biggest bang for their buck and making their work talkable certainly extends the reach,” she said.

“While 360i is a digital marketing agency at its core, Ms. Hofstetter added that she frequently puts on her PR hat to come up with ideas for clients that consumers will care about and want to share.”

But Harris Diamond, McCann Worldgroup chairman-CEO, cautions “Even though many agencies are adding new capabilities to try to create one-stop shops, the smart firms will primarily focus on what they know best.”

So on that note, contact me for a free consultation to discuss how our public relations services can help with your publicity needs. 🙂

Extraordinary wildlife photos from camera traps

I just received the blads* for an extraordinary upcoming book, Candid Creatures: How Camera Traps Reveal the Mysteries of Nature, by biologist Roland Kays (May 2016, Johns Hopkins University Press).

Before this publicity campaign, I’d never heard of camera traps. I’ve since learned that many of the most fascinating and significant wildlife discoveries in recent years have been made thanks to the explosion of these non-invasive, motion-sensitive cameras, placed out in nature.

With wildlife in crisis around the world we need to know the status of animal populations now more than ever. To meet this challenge, scientists trek to the most remote corners of the planet to set camera traps. They hope this technology will allow them to catch glimpses of animals they could never see with their own eyes.

Not only do camera traps provide stunning images of endangered species, they’ve revolutionized the field of wildlife science, and elevated our understanding of the animals in our own backyards.

We’re thrilled to be conducting a nation book publicity campaign for this title, it’s a publicist’s dream. Candid Creatures is the first major book to reveal the secret lives of animals through this new technology, and we have more than 600 remarkable photographs to share from researchers all over the globe.

The author Roland Kays is a dynamo. He’s the director of the Biodiversity Laboratory at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and a research associate professor at North Carolina State University. Roland is energetic, articulate, and super-enthusiastic about his work. Here’s one of his excellent camera trap videos that we’re using for his media relations campaign.

* Blads are pre-publication brochures for upcoming books, used by publicists and sales teams. Blad stands for book (or, basic) layout and design.

Contact Kathlene Carney at Carney & Associates for a free consultation to discuss how our media relations services can help with your wildlife organization or book’s publicity needs.