11 Documentaries to Learn More About Toxic Chemicals

August 1, 2013

Toxic chemicals, from antimony to zinc, have invaded all aspects of modern living — consumer products, electronics, food, food packaging, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, and even our water supply.

The companies that formulate, manufacture, and sell these chemical-laden products, however, do all possible to conceal or ignore the negative effects to our environment and ourselves. They market their industrial practices and products as safe and reveal ingredients and substances used only when forced to do so by law or intense public pressure.

Therefore, it can be extremely difficult to learn the truth about the 80,000 toxic chemicals that have permeated our environment, our homes, and our bodies.


Information is available, but many of us do not have the education, inclination, resources, or time to do our own research. Thankfully, there are documentary filmmakers willing to help shine a light on this growing problem.

Here are 11 feature-length or short documentary films with direct or incidental information, warnings, and solutions about toxic chemicals:

Addicted to Plastic: The Rise and Demise of a Modern Miracle (2009).
Chemerical: Redefining Clean for a New Generation (2009). Available on Netflix Streaming.
Good Hair (2009).
Homo Toxicus (2008).
Last Call at the Oasis (2012).
No Impact Man: The Documentary (2009). Available on Netflix Streaming.
Plastic Planet (2011). Available on Netflix Streaming.
Semper Fi: Always Faithful (2011) Available on Netflix Streaming.
Story of Cosmetics (2010).
Story of Electronics (2010).
Toxic Soup (2010).

Most of these documentaries are available online to stream from Netflix, rent from Amazon, or play directly from the project’s website.

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About the Author:

Roger Cunard writes at rogercunard.com. You can follow him on Twitter @rogercunard.
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Comments (1)

  1. Roger Cunard says:

    If you are really short on time, The Story of Cosmetics packs a lot of great information into just eight minutes. Start there, then as time permits, check out the companion video, The Story of Electronics.

    Both can be viewed for free online at http://www.storyofstuff.org.