Theo Colborn

Utne Reader visionary [Originally published as Theo Colborn in the January-February 1995 issue of Utne Reader]

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The Rachel Carson of the ’90s, Colborn will have more impact on the chemical industry than any other person in the 20th century. As a zoologist, senior scientist, and director of the Wildlife and Contaminants Project at the World Wildlife Fund, she has led alarming research into the effects of synthetic chemicals in the environment that disrupt the endocrine systems of animals and humans. She found that animals in the Great Lakes exposed to dioxins and PCBs had decreased fertility, increased birth defects, and impaired metabolism, raising concerns about the long-term effects of these chemicals on human reproductive systems. She is the author of numerous articles on the environment, a frequent lecturer, and a member of the Science Advisory Board for National Public Radio’s environmental news program Living on Earth.