Episode 15

Published on:

14th Nov 2023

Interview with Ted Smith, Founder of Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, Part Three

In part three of our interview, we begin speaking about the train derailment and release of vinyl chloride in East Palestine Ohio that occurred in February.  We discuss the difficulty of retaining institutional memory of toxic accidents and other incidents, and what that could mean for communities where new micro chip plants may be built under the CHIPs Act.

We talk about the long history of attempting to regulate the use of hazardous toxic solvents like TCE, at the local, state and federal levels and the battles with companies over the extent of their cleanups of Superfund sites. 

We then discuss the Silicon Valley Toxic coalition’s partnering with environmental justice organizations in the southwest, as chip plants began to move to New Mexico, Arizona and Texas including creating the Electronics Industry Good Neighbor Campaign with the Southwest Organizing Project, Tonatierra, and PODER.  

We also begin a discussion on the creation of the Campaign for Responsible Technology and the growth of their work to address e-waste, including the development of the Electronic Takeback Campaign and a campaign targeting Dell Computers.  Finally, we discuss the international implications of the e-waste work.


Here are some of the news stories, books and reports that are referenced in this episode:

A story by Eric Lipton in the New York Times re the Biden administration’s implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), March 16, 2023


The book written jointly by SVTC, SWOP, PODER and Tonatierra.

Sacred Waters: Life-Blood of Mother Earth (1997)

A report by Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition

Corporate Strategies for Electronics Recycling: a Tale of Two Systems  (2003)

A report produced by SVTC and the Basel Action Network

Exporting Harm: The High-tech Trashing of Asia (2002)

See also the International Campaign for Responsible Technology’s (ICRTs) website

And the Basel Action Network’s website

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About the Podcast

The Toxic Avengers
Meet the people working to protect us from toxic chemicals.
We're constantly being exposed to toxic chemicals, in our food, our water, the products we buy, in our homes, at work, even in utero. Meet the Toxic Avengers: people working to stem the tide of toxic chemical pollution that can lead to cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities and other health impacts. Learn about Toxic Avengers' fights against the chemical industry to win strong federal and state protections; local campaigns to defend communities facing the greatest toxic exposures; and the power of consumers to make household products safer.

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Daniel Rosenberg