The Change Agent

Change AgentStaying safe in a toxic world is not an easy task. Becoming informed about threats to air, soil, and water means confronting complex-looking math and technical vocabulary, and can quickly lead one to feel overwhelmed.

The good news is that the spring 2011 issue of The Change Agent, the biannual publication of The New England Literacy Resource Center, contains stories for inspiration and ideas for action. Adult education teachers will find ways to incorporate skills using social justice content related to the environment.

You can read The Change Agent: Staying Safe in a Toxic World here on our site. For extras supplementing the issue, PDFs of past issues, and more, visit The Change Agent website. You can read the whole issue, or the individual articles, listed below. Jump to:


Practice Skills and Ideas in Environmental Justice Work

Glossary - Glossary of terms used in the magazine.

spanish icon Smart Moves! Take Control of Math - For when the math or science feels too hard. También en Español

Exposed! - Thinking about how long a child is exposed to contaminated soil.

Picturing a Part Per Million - Guess which one is closest to a part per million?

Not for Scientists Only! - What a page of water test results might look like.

What’s Happening Here? What Can You Do? - Create a message about contamination, and what you can do to change things.

spanish icon 120 Times More: So Scary, It’s Silly - How to talk about it when regulations and science are off by a factor of 120. También en Español


Toxics in the Home and Workplace

I Can Protect My Baby - A mother writes about the chemical BPA in baby bottles.

spanish icon Protecting My Son from Lead - How to reduce a child's exposure to lead. También en Español

Real Cool Stuff? Or Toxic Stuff? - Checking the labels on toys and cosmetic products that kids use.

Washing Hands with Toxic Pesticides? - Anti-bacterial soaps contain triclosan, which may cause more harm than good.

Cigarettes are Toxic - The harms of cigarettes, for the smoker and others.

What is the Seller’s Responsibility? - New laws for warnings on tobacco products

A Different Meaning of Toxic - Growing up surrounded by physical and social toxins

spanish icon Health and Safety Checklist - Tips from the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health. También en Español

Custodians Organize for Safer Cleaners - A success story about workplace safety

spanish icon Less is More: How Ratios Can Help You Use Cleaning Products Safely - Being safer around hazardous chemicals in the home. También en Español

Clean Up Quiz - A quiz about the previous three articles.

Organic Gardening - The dangers of pesticides and fertilizers

Pesticide Persistence - How much pesticide is on your food at the supermarket?

Too Much Packaging! - "Reduce "and "Reuse" should come before "Recycle".

Talking Trash at Work - Reducing waste and energy use at the office.


Focus on Specific Industries and Pollutants

Please Turn Off Your Engines - How to reduce pollution from idling cars

We Could Decrease Diesel Pollution - How different engines and filters on city buses can reduce pollution

Poultry Litter: Is it Fertilizer or Pollution? - Dangers from chicken farm waste

Oil in Gulf: Bad. Oil in Landfill: Not Bad? - Waste from the 2010 BP oil spill was buried on land.

Garbage Stinks, Landfills Leak... but Zero Waste is Possible! - Problems with landfills, and a greener solution

Intensive Care. Intensive Hazards? - Problems with medical waste

Measuring Dioxin in the Air - A group concerned about pollution from medical waste incineration.

The Good, The Bad,and The Ugly: Biosolids - Dangers of using septic tank waste as fertilizer


Stories of People in Contaminated Communities Fighting for Justice

spanish icon Fighting Contamination in a Chicago Neighborhood - A contaminated urban community got organized and educated to fight for a cleanup. También en Español

What Makes a Mom an Activist? - An interview with Lois Gibbs of CHEJ

Storybook Farm’s Backyard - A family with a child care program confronts pollution from a nearby galvanizing plant.

Counting and Calculating - Residents downstream from a manufacturer collect their own data about health effects

Suspect a problem? Will testing uncover it? - Finding contamination on a site and getting it cleaned up.

Problem Solved? Residents Work to Make Sure Clean-Up is a Success -

Residents learn to read test results to monitor a cleanup.

Environmental Issues in My Neighborhood - Problems in an Arkansas city.

spanish icon Can’t Stop Breathing - Breathing pesticides near an orange grove. También en Español

Coal Mining in Sebastian County - Hazards of mining, for miners and community.

Take a Toxic Tour of Your Town - Organizing a tour to show people where the toxic sites are in your community.


spanish icon En Español spanish icon

Jugadas Inteligentes - Para cuando las matemáticas o las ciencias se sienten demasiado difíciles.

120 veces más: Tan aterrador que resulta absurdo - Cómo hablar sobre eso cuando los reglamentos y la ciencia estan debajo o se exceden por un factor de 120.

Proteger a mi hijo del plomo - Cómo reducir la exposición de los niños al plomo.

Lista de control de riesgos para la salud y la seguridad - Consejos de la Coalición de Massachusetts para la Seguridad y la Salud en el Trabajo.

Menos es Más - Ser más seguro cerca de productos químicos peligrosos en el hogar.

Lucha contra la contaminación en un vecindario de Chicago - Una comunidad urbana contaminada se organizó y fue educada para luchar por una limpieza.

No puedo dejar de respirar - Respirando pesticidas cerca a un campo de naranjas.









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