Living Downstream. It's an arresting concept, especially in the hands of Sandra Steingraber, an ecologist and cancer survivor who penned a book under that title, which has now been made into a documentary.
For Sandra, it means looking at the practices upstream—factories polluting waterways with carcinogenic chemicals is one example—and connecting them with the health of those living at the other end.
Fellow author Annie Spiegelman wrote a piece on the Huffington Post yesterday that puts the documentary in the context of new developments and new thinking on environmental health, including the President's Cancer Panel report from earlier this year. We co-hosted a special screening of the film for Annie and others:
When I was invited to a private screening of Living Downstream, the new documentary about biologist, author and cancer survivor, Sandra Steingraber, I was a bit hesitant. The showing was sponsored by the Breast Cancer Fund and Pesticide Action Network North America, two organizations that like to scare me out of my complacency. Both groups are determined to make us aware of the latest medical and scientific studies linked to cancer, our environment and our collective health. They want us to wake up, pay attention and be an educated, clued-up society. SAY WHAT? But that would mean turning off Dancing with the Stars and Jersey Shore. ...
Living Downstream is a poignant, enlightening and visually graceful documentary that was released earlier this year. ...The film weaves in scientific research and interviews with several experts in the fields of toxicology and medicine along with the personal story of Steingraber's struggle with bladder cancer. Watching her attend periodic cancer check-ups shows the harsh reality of what a cancer patient and their family must endure, always wondering if the next phone call is going to bring them bad news from the pathology lab. (Read complete article.)
Now Living Downstream is coming to a city near you (check upcoming dates).
Sandra will also be speaking at two events in California this month: October 25 at the Women's Conference in Long Beach and October 28 in San Francisco. The Breast Cancer Fund will be at both and we hope you'll join us!