Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks At Cancer And The Environment

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9780201483031: Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks At Cancer And The Environment
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Sandra Steingraber, biologist, poet, and survivor of cancer in her twenties, brings all three perspectives to bear on the most important health and human rights issue of our time: the growing body of evidence linking cancer to environmental contaminations. Her scrupulously researched scientific analysis ranges from the alarming worldwide patterns of cancer incidence to the sabotage wrought by cancer-promoting substances on the intricate workings of human cells. In a gripping personal narrative, she travels from hospital waiting rooms to hazardous waste sites and from farmhouse kitchens to incinerator hearings, bringing to life stories of communities in her hometown and around the country as they confront decades of industrial and agricultural recklessness. Living Downstream is the first book to bring together toxics-release data—now finally made available through under the right-to-know laws—and newly released cancer registry data. Sandra Steingraber is also the first to trace with such compelling precision the entire web of connections between our bodies and the ecological world in which we eat, drink, breathe, and work. Her book strikes a hopeful note throughout, for, while we can do little to alter our genetic inheritance, we can do a great deal to eliminate the environmental contributions to cancer, and she shows us where to begin. Living Downstream is for all readers who care about the health of their families and future generations. Sandra Steingraber's brave, clear, and careful voice is certain to break the paralyzing silence on this subject that persists more than three decades after Rachel Carson's great early warning.

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Sandra Steingraber, a poet and biologist, writes with extraordinary grace and clarity about that most depressing of subjects: cancer, a disease that sends you into an unfamiliar territory where all the rules of human conduct are alien. That territory, she suggests, is expanding as chemically poisoned environments begin to take their toll on their human inhabitants. This interaction between the disease and compromised natural zones takes her text into fascinating arguments. Along the way, Steingraber looks at community efforts to reverse the effects of carcinogenic toxins, such as an Iowa farming group's decision to replace chemical herbicides with natural methods of pest control, following the principle of the least toxic alternative. She also suggests that with proper foresight we can do much to make our environments less dangerous.

About the Author:

Sandra Steingraber is a poet and professor of biology. She serves on the US government's National Action Plan on breast cancer.

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9781860495359: Living Downstream: Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment

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ISBN 10:  1860495354 ISBN 13:  9781860495359
Publisher: Virago Press Ltd, 1999
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