Category Archives: toxicity

Waste is not “matter out of place”

Douglas’ theory of matter out of place is about power. Something in the wrong spot, something poisonous, is not matter out of place. Unless it threatens power.

Queering chemicals (EDCs): A bibliography

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) are a class of environmental toxicants that may impact sex, gender, and sexuality. Here is our bibliography on queering EDCs.

Science with heart

Conservation biologist Alex Bond on dealing with pollution, harm, and suffering as a scientist.

Nuclear State, Nuclear Waste

Nuclear State, Nuclear Waste: Emily Simmonds on Canada as a nuclear nation & ongoing colonialism through uranium mining.

These chemicals are bad for babies and whales: Why haven’t they been banned in Canada?

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.

Benzene, PCBs, and industrial chemistry: A narrative bibliography

How the Benzene Tree Polluted the World in The Atlantic by Rebecca Altman, is a narrative exploration of the rise of organic chemistry, and the industrialization of the branch of chemistry based on the benzene ring. The piece focuses on the geopolitical forces shaping the production and global distribution of PCBs, a class of industrial chemicals that, though […]
Read More »

Review of Richard S. Newman’s “Love Canal: A Toxic History from Colonial Times to the Present”

Newman’s activists press for environmental change imbedded with critiques of capitalism and industrialization, racial injustice, and its global implications. This view distorts the complexity of historical events within the environmental movement.

Toxins or Toxicants? Why the difference matters

When we accidentally call toxicants “toxins,” we are also accidentally naturalizing industrially-produced chemicals and their politics.

Pollution is Colonialism

Colonialism in Canada is an ongoing structure whereby settler society and government assert sovereignty over lands already occupied by Indigenous peoples.

Cleaning up toxic sites shouldn’t clear out the neighbors

Notions of “sustainability” and “urban greening” ought to include values of justice and equity. Otherwise, important projects like the Blue Greenway will build sustainable waterfronts for the urban elite, rather than spreading the environmental benefits of toxic cleanup to the many.