How can we better understand and deal with global, man-made environmental toxins?
AnthroTox is one of the convergence environments funded by UiO:Life Science. UiO:Life Science funds convergence environments – interdisciplinary research groups that address major challenges within health and environment.
AnthroTox is one of these and more information and news about the project is available at the Life Science website.
AnthroTox brings together social anthropologists, historians and STS-scholars, environmental toxicologists and chemists, to understand how environmental, social and political-economic processes shape flows and impacts of anthropogenic toxicants across societies and ecosystems, and to contribute to public debate, policy processes and remedial action.
To begin, AnthroTox focuses on persistent organic pollutants from electronic waste in Tanzania. Pollution by POPs is a cumulative global environmental problem, since POPs travel long distances, passively with atmospheric and sea currents, and actively with trade in industrial products and waste. They accumulate in the food chain, affecting animal and human life, including reproduction, immune function, and carcinogenesis. From their origin in industrial Production, to their release into the environment, POPs engage with social, cultural and economic processes. For political‐economic and climatic reasons, East Africa attracts large amounts of these hazardous substances, raising questions of environmental justice, and a need for empirical data.
Our investigations on Tanzanian e-POPs will build a sustainable interdisciplinary foundation for future collaborations on global anthropogenic toxicants. In the longer term, AnthroTox’ scope will broaden through other projects, looking at other toxic substances and contrasting the tropics to arctic environments.