The Loma Prietan - December 2013


Raises Awareness of Our Environment’s Chemical Burden

by Nada Ballator

Better Living thru Chemistry Movie trailer
Better Living thru Chemistry Movie trailer

The Loma Prieta co-sponsored film Unacceptable Levels told a crowd of over 180 the story of how the “better living through chemistry” zeitgeist after World War II started the proliferation of chemicals in our environment, and how testing can’t keep us adequately informed of their effects. A lively discussion with local environmentalists followed.

An audience of over 180 enjoyed a special showing of award-winning documentary Unacceptable Levels on November 13, sponsored by Susan Cann (film producer, Sierra Club member, and Redwood City mom) and the Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter.

This documentary ( by Ed Brown, a novice filmmaker concerned about his family’s health, covers many aspects of the chemicals we’re regularly exposed to, and points out that, although the effects of individual chemicals might have been studied, their aggregated effects are much more difficult to determine.

The film’s discussion of the “better living through chemistry” zeitgeist after World War II helped the audience understand how chemicals have proliferated in our environment so easily, and interviews with national experts made a compelling argument for our increased vigilance. See the trailer at

 After the film, a “Next Steps” discussion with Oakland author Beth Terry ( and Redwood City advocate for environmentally sustainable home landscaping Terry Lyngso ( provided a lively, engaging discussion for the enthusiastic audience.

Nada is a long-time member who reminds her Redwood City grandchildren about the importance of a clean, safe environment.