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 Featured Title
Our Chemical Selves
Gender, Toxics, and Environmental Health
Dayna Nadine Scott  

$95.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 2/15/2015
ISBN: 9780774828338    

$39.95 Paperback
Release Date: 7/1/2015
ISBN: 9780774828345    

436 Pages


About the Book

Everyday exposures to chemicals found in homes, schools, and workplaces are having devastating consequences on human health. These toxic exposures derive from common personal care products and cosmetics, household cleaners, pharmaceuticals, furniture, the food we eat, the water we drink, and even the air we breathe.

Our Chemical Selves examines the impact of toxics on the long-term health of Canadians. Written by leading researchers in science, law, and public policy, the chapters in this collection reveal that while exposures to chemicals are pervasive and widespread, people from low-income, racialized, and Indigenous communities face a far greater risk of exposure. At the same time, the risks associated with these exposures (and the burdens of managing them) rest disproportionately on the shoulders of women.

Rather than focusing on the "chemical enemy," this collection hones in on the "political economy of pollution" by critically examining the system that manufactures the chemicals and the social, political, and gender relations that enable harmful chemicals to continue being produced and consumed. Enlivened by contributions from law, science, and policy scholars, Our Chemical Selves establishes the connections between profit incentives, the unsustainable production of waste, exploitative labour practices, and differential exposure to pollutants. Ultimately, this collection calls for revisions to the way we approach the regulation of toxics.

About the Author(s)

Dayna N. Scott is an associate professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School and in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables

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

List of Contributors


"A smart, impressively researched, and deeply relevant volume ... It shows how regulatory systems that ignore the interactions of biology and social locations of gender, race, and economic disparity will be inadequate to protect ourselves, our children, and our environment. Highly recommended to all those concerned with the health of our environment, our food, and our families."
-- Noël Sturgeon, author of Environmentalism in Popular Culture: Gender, Sexuality, Race, and the Politics of the Natural

"A timely collection of chapters that are academically rigorous and policy relevant, while speaking from and to personal experiences of harm and resistance by those most affected by everyday exposure to toxic chemicals."
-- Sherilyn MacGregor, author of Beyond Mothering Earth: Ecological Citizenship and the Politics of Care

"This is, to my knowledge, the first book of its kind. It applies a gendered perspective to regulatory challenges presented by chemicals, with a distinctive Canadian voice. It is very well documented, highly readable, very interesting, and timely."
-- Heather McLeod-Kilmurray, Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability and Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa

Sample Chapter

Sample Chapter [PDF]

Related Topics

Environmental Studies
Public Policy

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of Our Chemical Selves from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

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