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Sociology Toxic Expertise: Environmental Justice & the Global Petrochemical Industry

Explore the Project

This ERC funded, 5 year research project offers the first systematic sociological analysis of the global petrochemical industry in relation to corporate social responsibility and environmental justice. Examining different claims about the health impacts of toxic pollution, this is a highly topical, interdisciplinary project.

Key Concepts

Toxic Expertise, Environmental Justice, Petrochemicals.

The Global Level

Mapping the global petrochemical industry and the environmental justice movement.

National, Regional and Local Levels

Case studies in US and China.

The Collaborative, Participatory Level

Developing a scaled-up international public 'resource' of toxic expertise.

Toxic Expertise - explainer video

For a three minute, accessible, animated introduction to the Toxic Expertise research project please see our video:


Toxic Expertise Video Clip

Toxic News E-Magazine

Our May 2019 15th edition is a Special Issue on "Making the Petrochemical Connection" edited by Alice Mah. This issue showcases research findings from Toxic Expertise. We feature case studies of petrochemical areas in Tenerife, Spain (Chris Waite); Porto Marghera in Venice (Lorenzo Feltrin); and "Cancer Alley" in Louisiana (Thom Davies). We also investigate corporate networks  (Thomas Verbeek) and discourses (David Brown). Finally, we examine regional differences, including toxic hazards and risk perceptions in petrochemical landscapes in Europe (Calvin Jephcote), China (Cynthia Wang), and Taiwan (Loretta Lou).

Sign up to Toxic News here

Credit: Louis Vest, Flickr - Industrial Landscape in Houston, Texas

Industrial landscape - houston

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