1st Edition

Synthetic Planet Chemical Politics and the Hazards of Modern Life

Edited By Monica J. Casper Copyright 2003
    352 Pages
    by Routledge

    352 Pages
    by Routledge

    This timely collection of original essays traces the migration of synthetic chemicals from the laboratory to the factory and then into the environment, bodies and communities. Turning our attention to the impact these chemicals have on our ecosystems, human health, social organization and political processes, the contributors break new ground by focusing on the production and distribution of these potentially hazardous agents themselves rather than just detailing their effects.

    Table of Contents Preface and Acknowledgements Introduction: Chemical Matters Monica J. Casper Part I: Environments 1. Troubled Natures: Toxic Pollutants and Japanese Identity in Two Tokyo Communities Peter Wynn Kirby 2. Indoor Air Pollution: Environmental Inequality Inside Allison Shore 3. Chemical Weapons Dispersal?: The Mundane Politics of Air Monitoring Monica J. Casper Part II: Bodies 4. Chemical Politics and the Hazards of Modern Warfare: Agent Orange Diane Niblack Fox 5. From Metallic to Sickly: Chemical Waste, Environmental Discourse, and the National Body in Post-Socialist Hungary Zsuzsa Gille 6. When a Child Has Cancer: Protecting Children From a Toxic World Virginia Adams O'Connell Part III: Communities 7. Permitting Poison: Public Participation, the Criteria for Action, and Environmental Justice in the Case of Dioxin Karen Hoffman 8. Chemicals, Cancer, and Prevention: The Synergy of Synthetic Social Movements Maren Klawiter 9. Change of State?: The Greening of Chemistry E. J. Woodhouse Part IV: Nations 10. Sexual Synthetics: Women, Science, and Microbicides Susan E. Bell 11. Chemicals and Casualties: The Search for Causes of Gulf War Illnesses Phil Brown, Steve Zavestoski, Meadow Linder, Sabrina McCormick, and Brian Mayer 12. The Chemistry of Sovietization: Industrial Solvents and Nationalist Reactions in 1960s Lithuania Diana Mincyte 13. Conclusion: Environmental Security in an Uncertain World Monica J. Casper and Barbara A. Barnes notes references List of Contributors Index


    Monica J. Casper is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of The Making of the Unborn Patient, which won the C. Wright Mills Award in 1998.

    "Synthetic Planet documents the continuing toxic tragedy to which we were first alerted by Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. If you are concerned about "weapons of mass destruction" that have silently entered our homes and arms, our food and water, read Synthetic Planet." -- Vandana Shiva, author of Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit
    "A much needed sociological account of how the chemical industry, while working under the guise of nation-building, is inextricably linked to the destabilization of human and ecological health. Underlying each of the striking essays is the growing concern that we are performing a vast chemical experiment on ourselves and our planet. If this thought-provoking research does not compel us to make wiser choices for the health of our children and grandchildren, I don't know what will." -- Elise G. Miller, Executive Director, Institute for Children's Environmental Health
    "Provides provocative, challenging, and informative analyses of some of the most pressing problems facing the world environment today. Synthetic Planet explains why and how complex scientific issues regarding the links between the environment and health remain highly vulnerable and unresolved far longer than need be." -- Devra Lee Davis, author of When Smoke Ran Like Water: Tales of Environmental Deception and the Battle Against Pollution
    "Synthetic Planet provides valuable insights into current environmental concerns." -- Social Development Issues