An acclaimed ecologist and author, Sandra Steingraber explores the links between human rights and the environment, with a focus on chemical contamination. She takes a personal and scientific look at these issues and offers insights into how we can protect our environment and ourselves. Steingraber brings a clear, lyrical voice to the complex evidence of biology.


Letter to Governor Cuomo about fracking

The letter points out serious flaws in the draft environmental impact statement that green-lights fracking in NY State and reviews the evidence for the various ways by which fracking may contribute to human cancer risk here.  Read the full letter.

New Book

Our children face an environment more threatening to their health than any generation in history.  Sandra Steingraber confronts this crisis with precise science and a lyrical, witty, moving memoir.  Each lively chapter of this unique book focuses on one of the universals of childhood – milk, laundry, pizza, homework, the “Big Talk” – and explores the hidden, social political, and historical forces behind it.  Throughout, Steingraber demonstrates how closely the intimate world of parenting connects to the public world of policy-making and how the ongoing environmental crisis is, fundamentally, a crisis of family life.

“Think silent playgrounds”

Ms. Magazine review

Find ‘Raising Elijah’ on Facebook



Living Downstream

A trailblazing and inspiring scientific exposé, brought fully up-to-date

The first edition of Living Downstream—an exquisite blend of precise science and engaging narrative—set a new standard for scientific writing. Poet, biologist, and cancer survivor, Steingraber uses all three kinds of experience to investigate the links between cancer and environmental toxins.

The updated science in this exciting new edition strengthens the case for banning poisons now pervasive in our air, our food, and our bodies. Because synthetic chemicals linked to cancer come mostly from petroleum and coal, Steingraber shows that investing in green energy also helps prevent cancer. Saving the planet becomes a matter of saving ourselves and an issue of human rights. A documentary film based on the book coincides with publication. read more

“Steingraber’s ability to meld literary prose with complex scientific information has made her a best-selling author. Like her hero Rachel Carson, whose 1962 book Silent Spring led to the ban on the pesticide DDT and kick-started the grass-roots environmental movement, Steingraber somehow finds language beautiful and compelling enough to seduce readers to sit through a science lesson.”

The Sun, January 2010

Huffington Post Blog

It's Time to Set the Record Straight on Fracking (November 19, 2013)While fracking's impacts are increasingly clear, what is unclear is why the Obama administration continues to cheerlead for big oil and gas interests, ignoring the science — even when the data come from its own agencies.

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

Lafayette College09/20/14 (Easton, PA)
Hartwick College09/25/14 (Oneonta, NY)
University of Iowa03/07/15 (Iowa City, IA)

See the full schedule

Previous Speaking Engagements

Fracking: Evidence From the US on Damage to Public Health06/04/14 (Brussels, Belgium)
New Environmentalism Summit06/03/14 (Brussels, Belgium)
Carleton College05/16/14 (Northfield, MN)
Kewaunee CARES & Clean Water Action Council05/10/14 (Green Bay, WI)
Lannan Foundation05/07/14 (Santa Fe, NM)

See the full schedule

In the Media

05/20/14Under the Surface: Fracking Wastewater Proves Devastating to Mayflies by Roger Drouin

In this article covering findings on fracking pollution impacts on the mayfly, "long-considered a key indicator of stream health," Steingraber is quoted extensively. "'Their hatching provides the basis for the whole food chain,' Steingraber said. 'This is a study that would certainly make a trout fisher stand up and pay attention.'" Read the full article

05/14/14Speaker Cites Climate Change as Biggest Threat to Health by Ramelle Bintz

"Steingraber blended her scientific knowledge in a calm, deliberate manner laying the background as a science educator. After explaining what is meant by “climate change” she talked about the economics of environmental hazards posed by businesses that threaten public health. She folded those statistics into her own personal fight against toxins contaminating the air, food and water." Read the full article

05/09/14Delivering a Call to Environmental Activism by Jim Lundstrom

“'So I think a lot of good ideas are being held hostage right now by the oil and gas industry, and those include really great technological innovations, solar and wind power being one, but also green chemistry, which shows us how we can solve problems using different materials that don’t necessarily cause cancer in people.'" Read the full article

05/02/14The Long View: Environmental Activist Sandra Steingraber by Jennifer Levin

"Steingraber advocates for bypassing natural gas and going straight to wind, solar, and water power for our energy... 'This is a transformation required of us as a human race. We need to put our ingenuity, imagination, creativity, and engineering toward this.'" Read the full article

04/10/14New Book Hammers Home a Historical Truth: Rachel Carson Didn’t Act Alone by Leo Horrigan

"Musil says Steingraber, a biologist/poet, 'combines field observations and feelings, science and spirit … along with a talent for making scientific studies come alive through anecdote and astonishingly poetic prose.'” Read the full review

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