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Exposed ScienceGenes, the Environment, and the Politics of Population Health$
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Sara Shostak

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520275171

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520275171.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 24 May 2022

The Molecular is Political

The Molecular is Political

(p.169) Six The Molecular is Political
Exposed Science

Sara Shostak

University of California Press

Chapter 6 considers how environmental justice activists perceive the ascendance of research on gene-environment interaction. This chapteropens with a case study of a 2002 court case-Tamiko Jones, et al., v. NL Industries, et al. (Civil Action No. 4:03CV229)-in which genetic arguments were used to undermine plaintiffs’ claims that their children’s cognitive and behavioral deficits were caused by lead poisoning. It then describes activists’ fears that research on gene-environment interaction will serve as a “smoke screen” for the social-structural dynamics underlying the disproportionate burden of environmental risks and illness borne by communities of color in the United States. However, it alsoconsiders to activists’ cautious interest in using molecular techniques to generate proof of environmental exposures and their deleterious effects.

Keywords:   lead poisoning, environmental justice movement, health disparities, West Harlem Environmental Action (WEACT), communities of color, molecular measurements

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