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UNI film screening to explore cancer prevention

February 11, 2014

Catherine MacGillivray, director, Women's and Gender Studies Program, 319-273-7195,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Could you get cancer from just going outside? Due to increasing industrial and agricultural pollution, it's likely. An upcoming film screening at UNI will explore this and other links between the environment and cancer. "Living Downstream" will be screened from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 17, in Sabin Hall, Room 002. A discussion, led by Kamyar Enshayan, director of UNI's Center for Energy and Environmental Education, will follow the screening.

"Environmental contamination is something we should all be concerned about," said Robin Summers, graduate assistant in UNI's Women's and Gender Studies Program. "This film details its link to the cancer epidemic, gives us the ability to begin conversations about its existence and inspires us to work toward a healthier environment."

According to director of UNI's Women's and Gender Studies Program (WGS) Catherine MacGillivray, "We hope that the screening of this film will inaugurate a campus-wide discussion of what is called the pinkwashing of breast cancer: the promotion of pink ribbons and the purchasing of pink consumer goods to go towards finding a cure for breast cancer. In many instances, the companies that are sponsoring pink ribbon campaigns and the like—in apparent solidarity with women—are the very companies that are producing the chemicals that are causing breast cancer and a host of other cancers and illnesses, and average consumers are unwittingly caught up in this ploy."

"Living Downstream" follows ecologist Sandra Steingraber as she battles cancer while trying to raise awareness of cancer prevention. The film is based on Steingraber's 1997 book of the same name. The screening is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact MacGillivray at UNI, at 319-273-7195 or