Susanna Rankin Bohme tells an intriguing, multilayered history that spans fifty years, highlighting the transnational reach of corporations and social justice movements. The pesticide dibromochloropropane, known as DBCP, was developed by the chemical companies Dow and Shell in the 1950s to target wormlike, soil-dwelling creatures called nematodes. Despite signs that the chemical was dangerous, it was widely used in U.S. agriculture and on Chiquita and Dole banana plantations in Central America. In the late 1970s, DBCP was linked to male sterility, but an uneven regulatory process left many workers—especially on Dole’s banana farms—exposed for years after health risks were known. Susanna Rankin Bohme tells an intriguing, multilayered history that spans fifty years, highlighting the transnational reach of corporations and social justice movements. Toxic Injustice links health inequalities and worker struggles as it charts how people excluded from workplace and legal protections have found ways to challenge power structures and seek justice from states and transnational corporations alike.
BIO: Susanna Rankin Bohme
Susanna Rankin Bohme is a lecturer at Harvard University and the author of “Toxic Injustice: A Transnational History of Exposure and Struggle.” She earned a Ph.D in American Civilization from Brown University in 2008.