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February 12, 2013 Beth Bartlett | professor, Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
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Biologist, Environmental Advocate, and Author Sandra Steingraber: "The Impact of Chemical Exposure on Human Health"
DULUTH, MN -- In honor of Women's History Month, the UMD Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies brings to campus noted biologist, environmental advocate, and author Sandra Steingraber on Monday, March 4, 7 pm, 200 Chemistry Building, on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus.
Steingraber, who is also a cancer survivor, explores the links between human health and environmental toxins, especially those found in our water. She skillfully weaves her narrative with hard science as she describes how environmental toxins have intruded into our bodies, our homes, and our daily lives.
"Nobody that I know has done more to inform the world about how we might prevent many cancers than Sandra Steingraber," said Beth Bartlett, professor in the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. "Reading Steingraber's work is life-changing. One of her main points is that we release hundreds of new chemicals into the environment every year with little to no knowledge of what their effects on environmental and human health will be. Nor do we know what the interactions will be in this toxic soup. We wait until harm is done before we act, and by then the damage has been done."
The Women's History Month Theme for 2013 is Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., biology, University of Michigan and scholar in residence at Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York, is internationally renowned for her pioneering work in the connections between chemicals in the environment and human health. Her acclaimed first book, Living Downstream: An Ecologist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment, published in 1997, makes a compelling case for the risks posed to human health by the hundreds and thousands of chemicals released into our environment without testing every year.
Written through the lens of her own pregnancy, her second book, Having Faith, documents the effects of chemicals in the environment on the developing fetus and breast milk. Her most recent book, Raising Elijah, looks at chemical exposure in the ordinary day-to-day choices in raising a child. "Called "a poet with a knife" by Sojourner magazine, Steingraber has received many honors for her work as a science writer.
Steingraber was named a Ms. Magazine Woman of the Year and later received the Jenifer Altman Foundation's first annual Altman Award for "the inspiring and poetic use of science to elucidate the causes of cancer." The Sierra Club has heralded Steingraber as "the new Rachel Carson," and Carson's own alma mater, Chatham College, selected Steingraber to receive its biennial Rachel Carson Leadership Award. In 2006, Steingraber received a Hero Award from the Breast Cancer Fund and, in 2009, the Environmental Health Champion Award from Physicians for Social Responsibility, Los Angeles."
Two screenings of Steingraber's film, Living Downstream, will be shown: Monday, February 25, 7 pm in Bohannon Hall 90 and Thursday, March 28 at noon in KSC 273.
Event sponsors include Minnesota Public Interest Research Group and UMD Departments and programs: Women's Resource and Action Committee, College of Liberal Arts, Swenson College of Science and Engineering, the UM Medical School Duluth, the UM Pharmacy School Duluth, the Office of Sustainability, Department of Geographical Information Systems, Chancellor's Office, Office of Cultural Diversity, and the Commission on Women.