From Silicon Valley in California to Silicon Glen in Scotland, from Silicon Island in Taiwan to Silicon Paddy in China, the social, economic, and ecological effects of the international electronics industry are widespread. The production of electronic and computer components contaminates air, land, and water around the globe. As this eye-opening book reveals, the people who suffer the consequences are largely poor, female, immigrant, and minority. Challenging the Chip is the first comprehensive examination of the impacts of electronics manufacturing on workers and local environments across the planet.
Contributors to this pioneering volume include many of the world's most articulate, passionate and progressive visionaries, scholars and advocates. Here they not only document the unsustainable and often devastating practices of the global electronics industry but also chronicle creative ways in which activists, government agencies, and others have attempted to reform the industry-through resistance, persuasion, and regulation.
Foreword: Technology Happens by Jim Hightower Introduction 1. The Quest for Sustainability and Justice in a High-Tech World - Ted G. Smith, David A. Sonnenfeld, and David N. Pellow Part I. Global Electronics 2. The Changing Map of Global Electronics: Networks of Mass Production in the New Economy - Boy Luthje; 3. Occupational Health in the Semiconductor Industry - Joseph LaDou; 4. Double Jeopardy: Gender and Migration in Electronics Manufacturing - Anibel Ferus-Comelo; 5. "Made in China": Electronics Workers in the World's Fastest Growing Economy - Apo Leong and Sanjiv Pandita; 6. Corporate Social Responsibility in Thailand's Electronics Industry - Tira Foran and David A. Sonnenfeld; 7. Electronic Workers in India - Sanjiv Pandita; 8. Out of the Shadows and into the Gloom? Worker and Community Health in and around Central and Eastern Europe's Semiconductor Plants - Andrew Watterson Part II. Environmental Justice And Labor Rights 9. From Grassroots to Global: SVTC's Milestones in Building a Movement for Corporate Accountability and Sustainability in the High-Tech Industry - Leslie Byster and Ted G. Smith; 10. The Struggle of Occupational Health in Silicon Valley - Amanda Hawes with David N. Pellow; 11. Immigrant Workers in Two Eras: Struggles and Successes in Silicon Valley - David N. Pellow and Glenna Matthews; 12. Worker Health at National Semiconductor, Greenock: Freedom to Kill? (Scotland) - James McCourt; 13. Community-Based Organizing for Labor Rights, Health and the Environment: Television Manufacturing on the Mexico-U.S. Border - Connie Garcia and Amelia Simpson; 14. Labor Rights and Occupational Health in Jalisco's Electronic Industry (Mexico) - Raquel E. Partida Rocha; 15. Breaking the Silicon Silence: Giving Voice to Health and Environmental Impacts within Taiwan's Hsinchu Science Park - Shenglin Chang, Hua-mei Chiu, and Wenling Tu; 16. Human Lives Valued Less than Dirt: Former RCA Workers Contaminated by Pollution Fighting Worldwide for Justice (Taiwan) - Yu-ling Ku; 17. Unionizing Electronics: The Need for New Strategies - Robert Steiert Part III. E-Waste & Extended Producer Responsibility 18. The Electronics Production Lifecycle. From Toxics to Sustainability: Getting Off the Toxic Treadmill - Leslie Byster and Ted G. Smith; 19. High-Tech Pollution in Japan: Growing Problems, Alternative Solutions - Fumikazu Yoshida; 20. High-Tech's Dirty Little Secret: Economics and Ethics of the Electronic Waste Trade - Jim Puckett; 21. High-tech Heaps, Forsaken Lives: E-waste in Delhi (India) - Ravi Agarwal and Kishore Wankhade; 22. Importing Extended Producer Responsibility for Electronic Equipment into the United States - Chad Raphael and Ted G. Smith; 23. International Environmental Agreements and the Information Technology Industry - Ken Geiser and Joel Tickner; 24. Design Change in Electrical and Electronic Equipment: Impacts of Extended Producer Responsibility Legislation in Sweden and Japan - Naoko Tojo; 25. ToxicDude.com: the Dell Market Campaign (USA) - David Wood and Robin Schneider
"Challenging the Chip is essential reading for anyone who owns a cell phone or computer. As its vividly written chapters reveal, our digital possessions connect us not only to global information but also to global contamination and injustice. Happily, this book shows us that we can have technology and clean water, too: Electronics sustainability is organic agriculture for iPods."
– Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., author of Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment
"[A] poignant expose of the environmental, public health and labor rights abuses of an industry that has come to symbolize progress and prosperity in the public eye. This broad anthology identifies the dark underbelly of the electronics revolution and seeks to ignite discussions between labor, environmentalist and human rights activists about how to address industry misconduct [...] a well-rounded understanding of challenges and struggles in the global electronics industry."
– Multinational Monitor
"This is an excellent book. It is rare to see environment and labor issues brought together in a seamless fashion. This is an important contribution to the discussion of globalization and its effects – and to the understanding of the grassroots movements that have emerged in response."
– Charles Levenstein, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
"Challenging the Chip is [...] an important work in chronicling the evolution of grassroots activism, corporate denial, and eventually, in some cases, corporate responsibility in the electronics industry."
"The editors have assembled an impressive collection of articles from leading academics and activists [...] Challenging the Chip judiciously uses photos, tables, charts, and diagrams with detailed explanations. In addition, the book is well documented with useful appendices."
– Multicultural Review
"With twenty-five chapters, much of the value of this volume lies in the encyclopedic overview it provides of conditions in electronics manufacturing around the world [...] There are fascinating details strewn throughout the book [...] There is a valuable list of web resources and relevant organizations [...] The editors provide useful introductions to the volume and each section [...] but the strength of the book lies in the richness and variety of the empirical material rather than in any overarching explanations or insights. This book is an important intervention in significant public debate."
– Contemporary Sociology, July 2007
"This sweeping, ambitious, highly substantive panorama of environmental outrages perpetrated by the electronics industry and its handmaiden governments and inspectorates is nothing if not concrete, literal, rich, and entirely convincing [...] Challenging the Chip is a valuable resource document, a must-read for anyone wanting to understand the substance of environmental changemaking in the 21st century."
– Environmental Politics, August 2007