Getting angry with endocrine-disrupting chemicals
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are industrially manufactured compounds that have the capacity to mimic or interfere with biosynthesis, metabolism, and the functions of bodily produced hormones. The ubiquity and persistence of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the environment have raised concerns about their impacts on human as well as nonhuman life. How do these chemicals affect us? How do we interact with them? And how do we respond to the risks that they pose? My inquiry into how chemical endocrine disruptors affect us focuses upon the ways in which they can influence our emotions. I bring attention to how being exposed to them can disrupt our brain chemistry, and therefore our emotions, too. With the help of the Endocrine Disruption Tracker Tool—a speculative instrument for a collective investigative practice that I have created—I look into what we can learn about endocrine disruption if we consider how are emotions are affected. I have developed this tool to help me, my research participants, and a broader community of interested people to address the exigencies of our lives, as affected by involuntary chemical exposure, and to construct responsive care relations—paving the way for new approaches to research, ethics, and politics that are embodied, experientially and materially grounded, in their concerns about endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
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