Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Controversy Regarding Brodeur's Asbestos Research Information at The New York Public Library.

The Main Branch building of the New York Publi...Image via WikipediaMy first full-time job was working with Hygienetics which at the time was located in Jersey City, New Jersey.  My boss and my mentor was Mr. Eugene Pinzer, CIH.  Mr. Pinzer was a great boss and did an excellant job mentoring me (as far as I am concerned).  At times he would train by hands-on practices, other times he would ask me to read some article or book that would help with my education and help me gain valuable experience and knowledge.  When I read the Felix Salmon's blog post "The case of Paul Brodeur vs the NYPL" and then Paul Brodeur's, a staff writer for The New Yorker for nearly 40 years, article for The Author's Guild titled "Paul Brodeur: A Breach of Trust at The New York Public Library" it brought back the some great memories.  One of the articles Mr. Pinzer requested that I read was Mr. Brodeur's article "Annals of Law - The Asbestos Industry on Trial".  This four part article written for The New Yorker Magazine ran from June 10 - July 1, 1985.  At the time I was, are you kidding me.  The articles were the equivalent of a 300-400 page book and I really didn't see the importance.  However, as Mr. Pinzer was apt to do he cajoled me into reading it.  The articles are well written and documents the asbestos industry's fall from grace.  I strongly suggest that if you are in the asbestos industry you read these articles.  It details the downfall of the industry, including how the information that exposed the industry of hiding the dangers of asbestos.
As the title indicates the New York Public Library has notified Mr. Brodeur that they intend on breaking up his collection of papers that he donated to the library.  Included in this collection of papers is Mr. Paul Brodeur's investigation of the asbestos health hazard and its cover-up by the asbestos industry.  Though I am not a curator or librarian, it seems to be a waste of the research that Mr. Brodeur did to back-up the facts, assertions, and evidence he writes about in his articles.  I hope the New York Public Library reconsiders their decision or at least allow the collection to remain together by returning the full documents to Mr. Brodeur.
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