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Living Downstream: An Ecologist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment
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Living Downstream: An Ecologist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  640 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
A trailblazing and inspiring scientific expos(r), brought fully up-to-date
ebook, 0 pages
Published March 23rd 2010 by Da Capo Press (first published 1997)
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Apr 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 ...more
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 15, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such an important book - beautiful, powerful, frightening. A must.
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
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 ...more
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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 huma ...more
More about Sandra Steingraber...
“The time trends and spatial features of cancer’s occurrence around the globe clearly belie the notion that cancer is a random misfortune. Cancer associates with westernization. Whereas forty years ago, cancer was mostly a disease of wealthy nations, half of all cancers now occur in developing nations, particularly those rapidly industrializing.” 1 likes
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