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Toxic Bust

Breast cancer receives a great deal of attention in the U.S. An entire month is devoted to it; millions of dollars are raised for it. People run, walk, write and conduct research--all for the cause of breast cancer. Yet, despite these efforts, growing numbers of American women develop breast cancer each year and we still do not know why, or how best to prevent it. Most breast cancer funding and research has gone toward treatment, and finding the elusive cure. Far less emphasis has been given to prevention and discovering the causes of breast cancer.

TOXIC BUST, a thought-provoking and visually compelling documentary, uncovers the growing evidence which links breast cancer to chemical exposure.

The film follows a 40-something woman who finds a lump in her breast, but like the majority of women with breast cancer, she has none of the 'established' risk factors. As she questions what may have caused her cancer, the film focuses on three cancer 'hotspots' (Cape Cod MA, SF Bay Area, and hi-tech manufacturing workers) to more fully explore the connection between breast cancer and chemical exposure in the home, community and workplace.

TOXIC BUST also raises questions about the long term health costs associated with early childhood chemical exposure and highlights the disproportionate toxic burden carried by low-income communities and workers.

Interweaving fiction and documentary, hard science and personal testimony, TOXIC BUST challenges viewers to question how chemical use in the United States undermines the health of its citizens.

'In her ground-breaking film Toxic Bust Megan Siler makes a convincing argument that chemicals in the environment could be implicated in the increasing rates of breast cancer. Toxic Bust takes viewers on a virtual journey from the affluent coastal town of Cape Cod to the densely populated San Francisco Bay Area, and then to the high-tech world of Silicon Valley through the experience of women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. These disparate communities share one thing in common: they are home to the highest rates of breast cancer anywhere in the world.' The Milky Way

'Toxic Bust is recommended for libraries looking for an introduction to the topic and supporting college programs in health sciences, environmental toxicology and health, women's studies and science.' Lori Widzinski, Educational Media Reviews Online

'[Toxic Bust is] well produced and soundly researched, with highly knowledgeable experts offering commentary...a solid resonates so deeply in the public psyche; it belongs in every public library.' Library Journal

'Beautifully filmed...Toxic Bust provides a sobering glimpse into the possible dangers of our seemingly innocuous lifestyle choices. Highly Recommended.' Video Librarian

'Toxic Bust could serve well in classrooms or in community groups to sparkle discussion, further study, and activism.' Feminist Collections


Main credits

Siler, Megan (film director)
Siler, Megan (film producer)
Siler, Megan (screenwriter)
Siler, Megan (editor of moving image work)
Siler, Megan (videographer)
Campanelli, Brooke (narrator)

Other credits

Editors, Shirley Gutierrez, Megan Siler; original score, Joshua Myers; videographers, Sophia Constantinou, Gary Mercer, Megan Siler.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Air Pollution
American Studies
Environmental Justice
Social Psychology
Toxic Chemicals


breast cancer, toxic chemicals, cancer research, chemical exposure, cancer hotspots, Cape Cod, Bay Area, Hunter's Point, hi-tech manufacturing, health, health costs, early childhood exposure, toxic burden, low income communities; "Toxic Bust"; Bullfrog Films

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