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Books

Book Review: The Last Plane by Robert Hirzer
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This is a good book, a well written novel. It is the first book by the author, Robert Hirzer, a physician and GP whose practice was in the area served by the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, BC - the hospital where he interned and where he was on staff in the days when doctors not only worked in their offices but also cared for patients in hospital.

The novel, while it is a work of fiction, is a reflection following the death of his father on the lives of his family spanning four generations including his grandparents, his parents, his own generation with brief mention of his children. In one short chapter he describes a day in the life of a GP that rings true for many who practiced in days when full spectrum general practice was the norm. But, most of the novel is about the lives of his parents through their childhood in Austria into youth and young adulthood as the second world war consumed those years.

Viscose rayon and health effects on workers during manufacturing
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 Fake Silk by Paul BlancPaul Blanc, University of California professor of medicine, chair of occupational and environmental medicine and author of the book "Fake Silk - The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon" has written about the dangers and health effects to workers in the manufacturing of these materials.

In a recent radio interview on CBC The Current he talks of the dangers and medical effects of exposure to carbon disulfide used in the manufacturing process and the diversity of products. He speaks of places where there are better working conditions and worker safeguards while there are other places where this is not so.

The toxic effects of carbon disulfide are dramatic and onset early. It easily travels into brain tissue and causes insanity along with other medical problems.

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