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World-renowned epidemiologist Devra Lee Davis will be at Colby College in Waterville on Thursday, March 6, to discuss her book When Smoke Ran Like Water: Tales Of Environmental Deception And The Battle Against Pollution. The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in Room 100 of the Lovejoy Building. It is open to the public and free of charge.

In When Smoke Ran Like Water, which was awarded the Bronze Medal of National Book Awards in 2002, Davis argues for changing our approaches to public health and documents how environmental toxins contribute to a broad spectrum of human diseases. Among the topics Davis addresses in her book are how breast and other cancers are linked with exposures to avoidable environmental contaminants; how environmental toxins play a role in the growing health problems men face, including increased cases of sterility and testicular cancer; and how the health risks children suffer from exposure to the environment, such as birth defects and asthma, have remained in dispute and unresolved longer than necessary. She also reports on potential new technologies and business activities that promote cleaner, greener and more efficient ways of developing economies in the United States and abroad.

Davis is the director of the Program in Health, Environment and Development at the World Resources Institute. She previously served as a senior scientific advisor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration and is the founder of the International Breast Cancer Prevention Collaborative Research Group.