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Living Downstream: An ecologist looks at cancer & the environment: Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment [Paperback]

Sandra Steingraber
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 April 1999

Thirty-five years after Rachel Carson's Silent Spring warned of the impact of chemicals on the environment, Steingraber offers us an urgent critique of current thinking on cancer and its causes, bringing us the alarming message that we have wilfully ignored the evidence and are still poisoning our environment. Throughout her study of truly shocking scientific research she weaves two stories - of Rachel Carson and her battle to be heard and of her own moving story of cancer of the bladder, which she traces back to agricultural and industrial contamination. The connection between our bodies and the ecological world in which we eat, drink, breathe and work have rarely been so eloquently and passionately recorded.

'A very accessible book both for the uninitiated, the sceptic and the converted -

' thoroughly inspiring and provoking' - Helen Lynn, WEN


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Virago (1 April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860495354
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860495359
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,684,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

An inspiration, an alarm, an illustrated guide to your worst nightmare ... excellent ... accessible (LITERARY REVIEW )

Read Steingraber and you won't be able to dismiss her suspicions about the role of chemical contaminants in our environment ... a book long overdue (GWYNNE LYONS, WWF )

Her writing is clear and concise ... the author's well-documented account should help to rectify this disturbing and dangerous situation (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY )

Eloquent and passionate. (DAILY MAIL )

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, a must read 25 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is both an eye-opener and depressing book. Steingraber uses her scientific background and her experience of growing up in small town Iowa to explain how cancer is basically an environmental disease touching everyone. She also talks about her and other friends trials with cancer. It is not a fun disease with the cures sometimes worse than the illness. The examples and stories cited happened (and are happening) across the US and in any industrial country. A great read if you are interested in what is happening around you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking 4 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An older book, but the information is still just as valid. Frightening statistics on how we are polluting the environment and the potential human cost of this, and just as ignored in research terms today
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent used book, excellent delivery 13 May 2010
Format:Paperback
I fell very satisfy with my order. The book is used, but in excellent conditions, and has a good price. The delivery was very fast.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative & well-written; confirms Rachel Carson's fears. 22 Jan 1998
By Barry A. Grivett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Early on it is evident Steingraber is an ecologist (informative) and a poet (delightful writing) - exceptionally rewarding read: packed with data interwoven with relevant anecdotes from her life. When you finish reading this I urge you to read Rachel Carson's Silent Spring if you haven't already. Steingraber presents the overwhelming evidence confirming Carson's early insights, fears and predictions.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Views: Scientific & Personal 28 Jun 2000
By Rich R - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Ms Steingraber provides poignant views of the environment where she and others are bathed in toxins. Her chapters are simply titled air, water, fire, ... , but they each delve deeply into both science and personal history.
Ms Steingraber knows her science and at the same time has a wonderful gift for conveying it to others less knowledgeable.
On the personal level, the author relates very closely to the place where she grew up and its effects on her immediate environment where she became a cancer victim at the age of 20.
My only disappointment was that the author did not quantitatively describe the various risks. Specifically, what is the relative level of risk of eating meat versus being a vegetarian?
All in all a wonderful and very readable book that I would strongly recommend to all.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steingraber reveals the truth everyone should know! 7 Oct 1997
By S. Ferguson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book, together with OUR STOLEN FUTURE, reveal the truth chemical corporations have kept secret since the 1930's. All of us our now carrying endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC's or "gender benders") hidden in our fat cells which are altering our sexuality, our ability to reproduce, our short term memory, our health...perhaps the very survival of the species. Steingraber makes this data accesible while she invokes a sense of land and family, as well as the stigma of cancer. Read this book! Then you can decide what you want to drink and eat---for yourself and those you love! V.S. Ferguson/author of INANNA RETURNS
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the most important books since Silent Spring 30 Nov 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Sandra Steingraber gives a well researched, objective, yet highly personal account of the interplay between our environment, and the degradation thereof, and the ever increasing face of cancer in the US. This book sould be read by every person who cares about their own health and the health of those around them. We should thank Ms. Steingraber for giving us this cricial information in an easy to understand format.
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommendation 30 Sep 2013
By Lydia Ipswitch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a class where I had to do an extra reading assignment. It was not on the original list of books, but was recommended to me by the professor. It is an older book, but the facts are still shocking...for example, I didn't know that oysters could get testicular cancer. Steingraber tells her story well and integrates it spectacularly with environmental facts and stories. This is a must read for anyone who is an environmentalist, or who is curious about the connection between the environment, environmental change, and human illnesses such as cancer.
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