Living Downstream: A Scientist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment

Living Downstream: A Scientist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment

Sandra Steingraber / Jan 29, 2020

Living Downstream A Scientist s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment With this eloquent and impassioned book biologist and poet Sandra Steingraber shoulders the legacy of Rachel Carson producing a work about people and land cancer and the environment that is as acc

  • Title: Living Downstream: A Scientist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment
  • Author: Sandra Steingraber
  • ISBN: 9780375700996
  • Page: 478
  • Format: Paperback
  • With this eloquent and impassioned book, biologist and poet Sandra Steingraber shoulders the legacy of Rachel Carson, producing a work about people and land, cancer and the environment, that is as accessible and invaluable as Silent Spring and potentially as historic.In her early twenties, Steingraber was afflicted with cancer, a disease that has afflicted other members oWith this eloquent and impassioned book, biologist and poet Sandra Steingraber shoulders the legacy of Rachel Carson, producing a work about people and land, cancer and the environment, that is as accessible and invaluable as Silent Spring and potentially as historic.In her early twenties, Steingraber was afflicted with cancer, a disease that has afflicted other members of her adoptive family Writing from the twin perspectives of a survivor and a concerned scientist, she traces the high incidence of cancer and the terrifying concentrations of environmental toxins in her native rural Illinois She goes on to show similar correlation in other communities, such as Boston and Long Island, and throughout the United States, where cancer rates have risen alarmingly since mid century At once a deeply moving personal document and a groundbreaking work of scientific detection, Living Downstream will be a touchstone for generations, reminding us of the intimate connection between the health of our bodies and the integrity of our air, land, and water By skillfully weaving a strong personal drama with thorough scientific research, Steingraber tells a compelling story.Well worth reading Washington Post

    Living Downstream Home Page Living Downstream is a cinematic feature length documentary based on the acclaimed book by ecologist and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D Living Downstream An Ecologist s Personal Investigation The first edition of Living Downstream an exquisite blend of precise science and engaging narrative set a new standard for scientific writing.Poet, biologist, and cancer survivor, Steingraber uses all three kinds of experience to investigate the links between cancer and environmental toxins. Living Downstream Order the DVD Feature documentary film based on the book by ecologist and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D Produced by The People s Picture Company and directed by Chanda Chevannes, this award winning film follows Sandra during one pivotal year as she travels across North America, working to break the silence about cancer and its environmental links. Sandra Steingraber Watch the trailer for the upcoming documentary, Unfractured.Produced and directed by Living Downstream filmmaker Chanda Chevannes, Unfractured follows Dr Sandra Steingraber, as she reinvents herself as an outspoken activist and throws herself into an environmental war that many believe is unwinnable See the film website here Democracy, like the climate itself, has tipping points Bioprocess A bioprocess is a specific process that uses complete living cells or their components e.g bacteria, enzymes, chloroplasts to obtain desired products. Transport of energy and mass is fundamental to many biological and environmental processes Areas, from food processing to thermal design of building to biomedical devices to pollution control and global warming, require knowledge of how Downstream Reflections on Brook Trout, Fly Fishing, and Downstream Reflections on Brook Trout, Fly Fishing, and the Waters of Appalachia is a mosaic combining nature writing, fly fishing narrative, memoir, and philosophical and spiritual inquiry. The Downstream Fisher Yields to the Upstream Fisher Why The downstream fisher blows up water at a faster pace His casts are longer, and he cover a wider arc He spooks fish ahead of him than does the upstream angler, and he kicks up mud and silt that carries downstream ahead of him. Visit Mannum Mannum, South Australia Mannum is a historic town on the banks of the Murray River in South Australia, located kilometres east of Adelaide. Template and Appendix for TG Downstream Supplier Letter Template and Appendix for TG Downstream Supplier Letter Dear SUPPLIER , The purpose of this letter is to provide you with an understanding of our commitment to Water management interventions push scarcity downstream Water management interventions push scarcity downstream Date June , Source International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Summary Human interventions to

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    About "Sandra Steingraber"

      • Sandra Steingraber

        Ecologist, author, and cancer survivor, Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D is an internationally recognized expert on the environmental links to cancer and reproductive health She received her doctorate in biology from the University of Michigan and master s degree in English from Illinois State University She is the author of Post Diagnosis, a volume of poetry, and coauthor of a book on ecology and human rights in Africa, The Spoils of Famine She has taught biology at Columbia College, Chicago, held visiting fellowships at the University of Illinois, Radcliffe Harvard, and Northeastern University, and served on President Clinton s National Action Plan on Breast Cancer.Steingraber s highly acclaimed book, Living Downstream An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment presents cancer as a human rights issue It was the first to bring together data on toxic releases with newly released data from U.S cancer registries Living Downstream won praise from international media, including The Washington Post, the Nation, The Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, The Lancet, and The London Times In 1997, Steingraber was named a Ms Magazine Woman of the Year In 1998, she received from the Jenifer Altman foundation the first annual Altman Award for the inspiring and poetic use of science to elucidate the causes of cancer, and from the New England chapter of the American Medical Writers Association, the Will Solimene Award for excellence in medical communication In 1999, the Sierra Club heralded Steingraber as the new Rachel Carson And in 2001, Carson s own alma mater, Chatham College, selected Steingraber to receive its biennial Rachel Carson Leadership Award.Continuing the investigation begun in Living Downstream, Steingraber s new work, Having Faith An Ecologist s Journey to Motherhood, explores the intimate ecology of motherhood Both a memoir of her own pregnancy and an investigation of fetal toxicology, Having Faith reveals the alarming extent to which environmental hazards now threaten each crucial stage of infant development In the eyes of an ecologist, the mother s body is the first environment for human life The Library Journal selected Having Faith as one of its best books of 2001 In 2002, it was featured on Kids and Chemicals, a PBS documentary by Bill Moyers.Formerly on faculty at Cornell University, Sandra Steingraber is currently Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York She is married to sculptor Jeff de Castro They are proud parents of five year old Faith and two year old Elijah.


    1. Why do I read books like these? They just make me mad. I'll never think about water in the same way again. Sometimes books on the environment and its toxins are just unsubstantiated sensationalistic rants. This one is not.

    2. Sandra Steingraber is one of my environmental heroes. Secretly I want to be like her "when I grow up," a scientist who is able to convey important scientific knowledge to the lay public. Her style seamlessly blends emotion-stirring imagery with scientific research. This book is her personal inquiry into the environmental origins of cancer, particularly the bladder cancer she suffered in her early 20s, and the throat cancer that ultimately took her best friend's life. Among the things I really ap [...]

    3. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loved Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. In many ways, this is a sequel to the original book that brought the danger of pesticides and pollutants to the public's attention. Mixed in with all of the scientific talk about cancer cells, carcinogens, and pollutants are stories of the author's personal battle with cancer, the struggles of those in her home town who fought (unsuccessfully) for someone to recognize the high rate of cancer among residents, and pers [...]

    4. I first saw the documentary based on this book because my friend had worked as part of the film's outreach team. The film was beautifully done, and the Q&A session with Steingraber and the director was thought-provoking. I decided to read the book for a nonprofit law and policy class.I read Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" in high school, which opened my eyes and terrified me at the same time. "Living Downstream" is definitely reminiscent of "Silent Spring", but Steingraber employs her backgr [...]

    5. A bit difficult to read, as I read it while Lorene was struggling to fight breast cancer for the third time. Makes a powerful point about the consequences of the U.S. ignoring the precautionary principle and waiting to see if enough people get cancer to force a chemical to be banned before any action is taken.

    6. This book opened my eyes to lots of the problems with all types of pollution that can enter our bodies. I don't know if I can ever live in Iowa. It is a must read. I would like to see more results of correlation studies of types of cancer related to what is in the local environment, workplaces, and ground water.

    7. Over a month after finishing the book, I finally have my review ready:Living Downstream was a very dense book, and reading it was sometimes quite depressing. It really served to raise my awareness about how little regulation of chemicals there is in the US. This lack of regulation and oversight means that untold pounds of chemicals are released into the air, ground, and water every day, and individually and in combination, many of these chemicals put us at greater risk for getting cancer. Contra [...]

    8. A maddening and exhilarating read. Though the book is over 20 years old, unfortunately not much has changed. We are still spilling poisons into our environment; into our water, soil, and air. And still, the long-suspected causalities between environmental factors and cancers have not been studied in earnest, for a variety of negligent reasons. So as a result, the agencies that are supposed to protect us deem that such and such chemical's deleterious effect on human health cannot be confirmed, or [...]

    9. Now believe me, I probably would never have picked up this book if it wasn't for my Sociology of Health & Illness course I was taking. We needed to pick a book to read that had to do with health, so instead of doing the book Fast Food Nation, like every other person in the class [and because I had already read it before in high school], I decided to go with a book my professor mentioned in class, a book that made me look more deeply into cancer. Living Downstream: An Ecologist's Personal Inv [...]

    10. I've tried to avoid adding books I've had to read for school, because I think when I don't have a choice it's hard to like something. However, there are books I learn from and enjoy that I read for school. I've decided it's only fair to review them as well.This book was required reading for an English class. The class had a weird mix of majors. I've met science majors and creative writing majors in this class, but I couldn't point out one person I know to be an English major.I learned a lot from [...]

    11. from reviewon by Michel Aaij (Montgomery, AL) link Here is a great book I think we all should read. Steingraber's thesis is relatively simple: environmental factors play a much larger role in the increase of cancer than hitherto assumed by individuals, public health officials, and regulators, and we should act accordingly. Her argument is well-researched and takes into account many of the pollutants we find in our air, water, earth, and bodies, and is presented intermittently as narrative and a [...]

    12. This is a remarkably well written and well documented look at the environmental causes of cancer. The author scrupulously researched patterns of cancer incidence and was able to connect this to toxic-release information available under right-to-know laws.As a student of the environment, as well as a cancer survivor and biologist, she is able to connect the dots between the cellular changes that cause cancers and the millions of tons of toxic substances used and dumped into the environment. She m [...]

    13. I read the newer revised edition. With a very polished narrative, the author fuses her personal bout with cancer with scientific data on cancer, carcinogens, and the environment. It is well organized and documented. I liked the read. In simple language, she explains the role of carcinogens in the propagation of cancerous cells, and endocrine disruption. I would have liked it better if she had included charts and graphs to illustrate some of the trends and to illustrate some quantitative material [...]

    14. This is among the best books I have ever read.It is a story about one woman's struggle with cancer, and the environment that caused it. She is the daughter of a farmer from rural Illinois, grew up in a town surrounded by industry, and went on to become an ecologist. She explains the issues that communities face in terms of pollution and exposure, but also how they try to strike a balance and ensure their members are employed, have a community. She describes the plight of the farmer so that you u [...]

    15. What an enlightening book. The information is already 10 years old, but all is relevant today. It is so suprising that we are still dealing with the same issues today. We have known that many, many chemicals can cause cancer, but we still keep producing them, releasing them into the air, into the water, feeding them to our animals, our gardens, ourselves, we sell them to third world countries when they are banned here. Yikes. I can't get over it. Is there anyone out there who does not know that [...]

    16. Steingraber, a cancer survivor and ecologist, looks into how the environment may play a part in the development of, and incidence increase of, cancer in America today. A science writer, Steingraber brings in many scientific articles and studies that support her statements and concerns in this area.This si a bit of a slow read, simply because it is so long and fact heavy. But is is definitely worth it - if only to open your eyes to how contaminated our environment is by all the artificial chemica [...]

    17. A very well written compliment to Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. Steingraber takes a look at the role our environment plays in the increase of cancer rates in our country. Loaded with compelling evidence, this book lays out the ways in which we poison the world around us with carcinogenic materials. She explains the arguments that are generally against her opinions, but counters with common sense. One can only breathe, drink, and touch poison for so long before it begins to affect one's body. We [...]

    18. it’s hard to read a book like Living Downstream without getting a little bit angry. The book was written 15 years ago, and succinctly documents the link between environment and cancer, and how often the link is ignored in favour of more convenient problems. while I haven’t read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, I imagine both books have the same frustrated underlying tone describing a problem that is so obvious and so ignoredspite this frustration, there is good news laced through the book in [...]

    19. This is kind of a depressing book. I was well aware of pesticides being linked to cancer, but not aware of how prevalent carcinogens are in our everyday life. I thought Steingraber did a great job integrating her personal experiences with cancer and her hometown with the science of carcinogens. You can definitely tell that she has a background in ecology and biology and explains the science in terms that the public can understand. However the reader can get bogged down in all the details of chem [...]

    20. Ingeniously structured and bursting at the seams with research. It was occasionally almost too technical for me, but Steingraber is a great writer and intersperses relevant anecdotes about her own cancer diagnosis and growing up in a farming community amongst in-depth descriptions of endocrine disruptors and DNA adducts.More than anything else I've read, "Living Downstream" has motivated me to learn more about ecology, our exposure to petrochemicals, and how to support local, organic farming pra [...]

    21. Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment by Sandra Steingraber, combines science and the author’s own story. I heard Ms. Steingraber talk about fracking during the 2012 Bioneers conference and found her a compelling speaker. I decided to look for her books and came across Living Downstream. The title and cover photo gave me pause, it looked depressing and scary, but I thought Ms. Steingraber probably had something important to share. So I bought [...]

    22. Dr. Steingraber's evidence and thoughtful analysis pulled me into a deeper understanding of our roles within the greater environment. It took me over two months to get through (there is a lot of medical and ecological jargon that took me longer to process) but this book was absolutely worth the journey. Steingraber confronts the systems that favor the use of carcinogens from the perspective of a human rights activist, a trained ecologist, a cancer survivor, and as someone who cares deeply about [...]

    23. I've gotten sort of stalled on this book, partly because I had to return it to the library and have just gotten it back again, but it is a bizarre combination of personal story and scientific text. I enjoy her casual writing style, and was hoping the science-y part would be easier to follow than most, but it is not at all. We'll see if I can manage to trudge through that part. (note, it gets better!)It seems the point is that as a society we produce a lot of stuff that causes cancer, and shouldn [...]

    24. Although it be somewhat of a depressing book, it is informative, enlightening, and thought-provoking. To see how blind we can become, how ignorant we are of the consequences our choices cause not just now but in the long run really makes you stop and think that perhaps just because everything seems okay now, we might want to really consider our actions. I highly recommend this book but I would recommend reading "Silent Spring" first as she references that a lot. Health is not just what we eat, b [...]

    25. This was groundbreaking when it was first released, and still (sadly) relevent today, given its emphasis on the link between the health of our environment and human health, as well as the clear environmental links to certain kinds of cancers.The feature-length documentary film, based on the book, is also a loving composition of both the author's work, as a biologist and ecologist, and her activism as a cancer-survivor. Steingraber's narrative is less linear science and more poetic exploration th [...]

    26. Steingraber's damning indictment of the American chemical industry and their ongoing poisoning of the American populace -- and the direct links to cancer stands alongside Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in both its evidence and its eloquence. The U.S. Government also emerges as being culpable in their lack of will to reign in the industry and save lives. Required reading for anyone concerned about their health, the health of their children, and the future of the world.

    27. I'm learning a great deal of important, little-known information about the relationships between cancer and the environment. Especially, sadly, about the lack of acknowledgement of, proper investigations into, and actions towards resolving this blatant problem. Very well-researched by a well-educated, cancer-surviving ecologist. Nicely integrates personal stories to make a lot of statistical information more real.

    28. Steingraber is an amazing author because she has the very rare talent to explain difficult scientific concepts in terms and stories that not only make sense to the reader but also stay with the reader. You will be thinking about her chapters on water and air for days. This book will stay on my bookshelf as a reference tool. She picks up where Rachel Carson left off and continues to connect the health of our environment to the health of our people. Every person should read this book.

    29. This book picks up where Rachel Carson's Silent Spring left off. Steingrager takes readers on a poetic and very personal journey where she uncovers the connection between enviornment (particularly industrial and agricultural carcinogens) and cancer rates. For anyone who has had a friend or family member die of cancer, this is an eye opening read, making a strong case that alongside a cure, we should be eliminating the threats lurking inside and outside our homes.

    30. frightening but not extremist. very reasoned and carefully written, lots of information on how complicated the relationship between cancer and our environment is. i have no biology background and the details were still made clear, quite impressive! the author has an intriguing personal conflict she obviously feels powerfully connected to her natural(and even man-made) environments, but they have probably betrayed her by silently concentrating and then passing on dangerous chemicals.

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