Judith Rainhorn's latest book, Blanc de plomb. Histoire d'un poison légal (White lead. History of a legal poison), was awarded the 2020 François-Bourdon Academy Prize and the 2020 Prescrire Prize earlier this year and it is with great pleasure that we received the information about this new recognition of her work from the jury of the OCIRP-Francis Blanchard 2020 prize.
To find out more:
Blanc de plomb. Histoire d'un poison légal, Presses de Sciences Po, 2019.
In the 19th century, white lead was acknowledged to be eminently dangerous to human health. Despite this, it was knowingly manufactured, distributed and used to whiten the paint that covered the walls of European growing cities. The poisoning of those making, using, or even living with the product was, for nearly two centuries, the object of almost general consent: faced with the unbearable lightness of human life, industrial and political logic imposed its rhythm and necessities and made this product a 'legal poison'.
As a historian, Judith Rainhorn questions the reasons for the long-term maintenance of a toxic substance within the industrial landscape and on the market, and questions the conditions of collective consent with regard to the toxic.