Shows: August 20, 2012

Photo for 'Toxic Legacy of Agent Orange Lingers over Vietnam'
René Mederos
Dangerous Chemistry

Poison Beauty: Nail Salons Threaten Workers' Health

If you’ve ever gotten your nails done in the city, you know that the one of the costs of a beautiful manicure is having to breathe noxious fumes for half an hour or so. But what if you had to spend all day breathing those odors? Many of the workers at our neighborhood salons, which are often owned and operated by Asian immigrant women, are exposed to toxic chemicals all day, and have very few resources for dealing with the health hazards related to those exposures. We talk to activists with the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, who are trying to change the industry from the inside by empowering workers to deal with the dangers they face on the job.

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Toxic Legacy of Agent Orange Lingers over Vietnam

It’s been decades since the US pulled out of Vietnam, but the environmental legacy of the invasion still lingers across the south of the country. During the 1960s, the US military doused the area with Agent Orange, the infamous herbicide that’s been linked to deep environmental damage and birth defects in the local population. Today, victims of Agent Orange are still seeking justice from the Pentagon, calling for medical aid and environmental remediation. The U.S. government recently rolled out a plan to help clean up some of the damaged areas. Activists with the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign are also pushing for legislation to compensate these victims.

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Banana Workers Battle Dole's Pesticides

For over a decade Filipino banana plantation workers have been battling Dole and other companies over claims of health damage from exposure to the pesticide DBCP, which was distributed in a region called Davao back in the 1980s. After trying unsuccessfully to sue first in Texas, and then in the Philippines, the workers recently tried to press their case again in a California court. They’ve joined a wave of lawsuits brought by Latin American workers who also accuse Dole of exposing them to toxic pesticides.

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Fast Times with a Fortunate Daughter

"Thao’s Vietnamese parents keep pushing her to marry – a man. Her other family – her Queer activist friends, coworkers, and community – wants her to come out. Thao doesn't want to do either!" What's a queer Vietnamese-American girl to do? We speak with Thao Nguyen about her one-dyke show, "Fortunate Daughter," co-directed by W. Kamau Bell and now playing at New York International Fringe Festival.

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This program is brought to you by Michelle Chen and Audrea Lim of the APF collective.

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