Breathing Space: An Ecological History of Allergy in America


ACLS Fellowship Program


History of Science/Medical History and Bioethics


Over the last 120 years, allergy has spread across boundaries of geography, race, and class to become the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. The rise of allergy coincides with environmental changes, precipitated in part, by efforts to combat the disease that at times only exacerbated its prevalence. The proposed book offers an ecological look at the history of the disease, a panoramic view of how American actions and attitudes toward the natural and built environment have impacted and been influenced by allergy illness. It also argues that by ignoring the environment in our search for a simple solution, we have not only failed to solve the mystery of the disease, we have made it far worse than could have been imagined when it first appeared on our shores.