Monday, October 13, 2014

Rector, "Environmental Justice at Work"

The September 2014 issue of the Journal of American History includes an article of interest: "Environmental Justice at Work: The UAW, the War on Cancer, and the Right to Equal Protection from Toxic Hazards in Postwar America," by Josiah Rector (Wayne State University). Here's the abstract:
Josiah Rector analyzes a series of campaigns by midwestern autoworkers to secure stronger protections against cancer-causing chemicals after World War II. Although most historians of the environmental justice movement have neglected the contribution of labor unions, in the 1960s and 1970s, however, activists in unions and community organizations combined concerns about race, class, and gender inequality with related patterns of pollution exposure. In the process, these activists began to use popular epidemiology to link chemical exposures to disease. Emphasizing the role of working-class people in challenging pollution, Rector argues for a more inclusive history of the environmental justice movement.
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Hat tip: Environment, Law & History