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Living Downstream: An Ecologist's Personal Investigation Of Cancer And The Environment

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.The updated science in this exciting new edition strengthens the case for banning poisons now pervasive in our air, our food, and our bodies. Because synthetic chemicals linked to cancer come mostly from petroleum and coal, Steingraber shows that investing in green energy also helps prevent cancer. Saving the planet becomes a matter of saving ourselves and an issue of human rights. A documentary film based on the book will coincide with publication.

Paperback: 440 pages

Publisher: Da Capo Press (March 23, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0306818698

ISBN-13: 978-0306818691

Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #253,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #41 in Books > Medical Books > Pharmacology > Toxicology #42 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Civil & Environmental > Environmental > Pollution #407 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Diseases & Physical Ailments > Cancer

It is only rarely that I have purchased a book based completely on hearing of seeing an interview of the author. That is, however, the pathway that led me to the second edition of Sandra Steingraber's incredibly powerful narrative "Living Downstream". The interview, conducted by TV Host Bill Moyers, was aired this year just before Earth Day 2013, and in it Steingraber discussed her reasons for joining in the protest against "fracking" which led to being jailed.Since this is a second edition of a book published originally over a decade ago, there are of course numerous updates. All of them, however, simply emphasize that the facts and experiences the author shares are becoming increasingly critical. Steingraber, born and brought up on an Illinois farm, was diagnosed at the age of 20 with bladder cancer. She survived the initial bout, and became a PhD biologist. She has since dedicated her life to the environmental, genetic and biochemical study of cancer, and the resulting environmental activism that is focused in her books and civil actions such as the protest discussed in the Moyers interview. This particular narrative acknowledges the extreme impact that Rachel Carson's famous book "Silent Spring" had on Sandra's own developing activism and deep concern about the across-the-board impact of runaway pollution of all sorts on the health of our planet and the beings inhabiting it.Again, though, I find myself grateful for my own organic chemistry background, because a great deal of Steingraber's discussion goes into the somewhat technical details of the main carcinogenic pollutants that result from insecticide and herbicide use, chemical, paper and plastics manufacturing, fossil fuel extraction and burning, hazardous waste storage and trash incineration, and so on.

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