Canadian regulators are all over the map with respect to flame retardants. On PBDEs, Canada infamously refused to take meaningful regulatory action. The government found most PBDEs to be toxic substances in 2006, but it declined to ban or restrict them in consumer products in 2008 or in 2016.
When we accidentally call toxicants “toxins,” we are also accidentally naturalizing industrially-produced chemicals and their politics.
Toxicity, toxins, and toxicants are areas of critical concern because controversies over what they mean, how they act, how they come into being and where, and what counts as evidence have high stake ramifications. These texts offer critical insights into these processes:
Whether focused on toxicity, disease, disaster, violence, or malfunction, STS scholars have long studied harm. Given the great diversity of approaches and cases, this panel seeks to take an intersectional approach to theorizing harm.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that 92% of the world’s urban population now live in cities where the air is toxic.
The factors that lead to gender differences in cancer rates all affect us later in life, and should not apply to children. Yet the present data shows that more boys than girls are diagnosed with cancer worldwide.
In 2013, India became the fourth country in the world (after Russia, the United States and the European Union) and the only emerging nation to launch a Mars probe into space. But it remains part of the group of 45 developing countries with less than 50% sanitation coverage, with many citizens practising open defecation, either due to lack of access to a toilet or because of personal preference.
This special issue asks: how are queer/crip contagions – conceived of as unbounded convergences of bodies, minds, and meanings – working to open up new sites of, and for, social and political exchange?
A new report highlights the failure of Canadian federal regulations to keep harmful flame retardant chemicals out of homes and consumer products. In fact, it argues that current regulations keep toxic chemicals *in* homes and bodies.
Deferring to molecules rather than social movements when it comes to contamination is a case of power relations.