The Green Life

The Green Life focuses on staying up-to-date with the latest green trends, events and news around the world.

The documentary Living Downstream is based on the acclaimed book by ecologist and cancer survivor Dr. Sandra Steingraber. It follows Sandra as she travels across North America working to break the silence about cancer and its environmental links.

Reminiscent of the great Rachel Carson and the movement that began with her research and best-selling book Silent Spring, the film eloquently displays both Sandra's professional and personal life in her own struggle against bladder cancer.

With increasing rates of cancer worldwide, the answer is all around us: the environment. The film shows the connection between the health of people and the health of our air, land and water. It follows the journey of invisible toxins from the dispersion of harmful chemicals into our environment and the devastating effects that they are already causing.

The film depicts several studies that show how certain pollutants including Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) are causing increased rates of cancer in several animal species. For example, male frogs found in polluted lakes from agricultural pesticide runoff were essentially becoming feminized. The chemicals from the pesticides caused testosterone to be replaced by estrogen. This is said to happen when breast cancer develops in humans.

We all know that pesticides are not healthy. But yet, our society is endlessly reliant on them. If you haven't started buying and eating more organic fruits, vegetables and produce, you may change your mind after this film. Spraying your lawn with pesticides this summer? Think again.

An informative and inspiring film, Living Downstream urges us to pick up where Carson and other scientists left off. With PCBs and DDT banned in the 1970s in the U.S. with Canada following suit shortly thereafter, why has the progress stopped? As the film denotes, the science isn't lacking, it's the political will and action.

Produced and Directed by Chanda Chevannes, the film is produced by The People’s Picture Company with the support of: The Ceres Trust, Kendeda Sustainability Fund of the Tides Foundation, The Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund, Canada Council for the Arts, Park Foundation, Canadian Auto Workers – Social Justice Fund, The Cancer Prevention Challenge (Ya Ya Sistahs & Bruddahs Too! and Team Vitality), Doris Cadoux & Hal Schwartz, and the Saunders-Matthey Cancer Prevention Coalition.

The film is available for film festival and theatrical screenings. For more information about the film, please visit