In this paperback reprint of a book originally published in 1993, Carl Cranor argues that the scientific and statistical criteria usually used to determine whether substances are toxic are too rigorous and time-consuming for evidentiary purposes in tort cases and for regulation. This results in the underregulation of toxic substances and the undercompensation of plaintiffs in tort cases. Cranor proposes that the evidential standards now used should be evaluated with the purposes of the law in mind. The choice of standards is, in effect, a choice between economic costs to society and health costs to individuals. Cranor argues persuasively that justice requires that priority be given to avoiding the latter.

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