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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Our Chemical Selves

Gender, Toxics, and Environmental Health

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Our Chemical Selves

Gender, Toxics, and Environmental Health

Everyday exposures to common chemicals found in homes, schools, and workplaces have devastating long-term and inter-generational consequences on human health. At the same time, the risks associated with these exposures (and the burdens of managing them) rest disproportionately on the shoulders of women. Written by leading researchers in science, law, and public policy, the chapters in Our Chemical Selves critically examine the system that manufactures the chemicals as well as the social, political, and gender relations that enable harmful chemicals to continue being produced and consumed. This book demonstrates the urgent need to revise existing approaches to the regulation of toxic substances in Canada.

436 pages


Table of Contents

Foreword: Water Is Life / Josephine Mandamin

Introduction: The Production of Pollution and Consumption of Chemicals in Canada / Dayna Nadine Scott, Lauren Rakowski, Laila Zahra Harris, and Troy Dixon

Part 1: “Consuming” Chemicals

1 Wonderings on Pollution and Women’s Health / M. Ann Phillips

2 Protecting Ourselves from Chemicals: A Study of Gender and Precautionary Consumption / Norah MacKendrick

3 Sex and Gender in Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan / Dayna Nadine Scott and Sarah Lewis

Part 2: Routes of Women’s Exposures

4 Trace Chemicals on Tap: The Potential for Gendered Health Effects of Chronic Exposures via Drinking Water / Jyoti Phartiyal

5 Consuming “DNA as Chemicals” and Chemicals as Food / Bita Amani

6 Consuming Carcinogens: Women and Alcohol / Nancy Ross, Jean Morrison, Samantha Cukier, and Tasha Smith

Part 3: Hormones as the “Messengers of Gender”?

7 The Impact of Phthalates on Women’s Reproductive Health / Maria P. Velez, Patricia Monnier, Warren G. Foster, and William D. Fraser

8 Plastics Recycling and Women’s Reproductive Health / Aimée L. Ward and Annie Sasco

9 Xenoestrogens and Breast Cancer: Chemical Risk, Exposure, and Corporate Power / Sarah Young and Dugald Seely

Part 4: Consumption in the Production Process

10 Plastics Industry Workers and Breast Cancer Risk: Are We Heeding the Warnings? / Margaret M. Keith, James T. Brophy, Robert DeMatteo, Michael Gilbertson, Andrew E. Watterson, and Matthias Beck

11 Power and Control at the Production-Consumption Nexus: Migrant Women Farmworkers and Pesticides / Adrian A. Smith and Alexandra Stiver

Conclusion: Thinking about Thresholds, Literal and Figurative / Dayna Nadine Scott

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