Project On Chemical Trespass and Pinkwashing

Research Associates

  • Amy Lubitow, Department of Sociology, Northeastern University
  • Daniel Faber, Department of Sociology, Northeastern University


The past thirty years have seen a drastic rise in rates of cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities and numerous forms of disease. While there is a possibility that these changes are natural in some way, it is also highly likely that certain types of chemical production processes, ingredients, and certain consumer products have influenced these statistics. The dramatic increase in rates of breast cancer and autism in the American population since the 1970s is a cause for concern, as are the number of scientific research developments that point to the link between synthetic chemicals and negative human health outcomes.

The Body Burden research project aims to uncover and make obvious the connections between chemicals in our environment and chemicals in our bodies and our homes. Exposures from consumer goods such as cosmetics, clothing, cleaning products, pesticides, and furniture have been repeatedly linked to increased health risks and are the central concern of this research project. Questions of how these exposures are regulated and who stands to profit from a myriad of regulatory oversights make up the core of this research. It is the ultimate goal of this project to make obvious the economic and political incentives that deter increased regulation and investigation of the connection between chemicals and human health.