Analysing a sample of 3,033 environmental conflicts around the globe, we compared conflicts reporting no human health impacts to those reporting health impacts linked to toxic pollution. Our study suggests four main findings. First, health impacts are a key concern for working-class communities. Second, the long-term effects of toxic pollution undermine communities' ability to act preventively. Third, industrial activities, waste management and nuclear energy conflicts are more likely to report health impacts than other economic activities. Last, mobilising groups are reluctant to consider the closure of a polluting project a successful outcome because of the persistence of toxic pollution across time. Our results contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics of what we have termed ‘environmental health conflicts’ (EHCs).
- Environmental health conflicts (EHCs)
- Slow violence
- Statistical political ecology
- Working-class environmentalism