chemical documentary cover photo

Every day our cells interact with 200 synthetic industrial chemicals. Where do these chemicals come from? Our water? Our food? Personal care products? And why are we exposed to them in the first place?

These are some of the questions filmmaker Ed Brown wondered about before embarking on his journey to produce the documentary, Unacceptable Levels.


Brown was initially inspired to delve into the world of chemicals after his wife showed him the ingredients list on one of her personal care products that contained five known carcinogens, reports Hollywood Chicago, who interviewed the documentarian.

“I thought, how on earth was [my wife] able to find this out and how on earth were we able to buy this? Right after that I began to think that something was wrong with this system. That’s when everything snowballed in regard to the film. What began with personal care products, also began an exploration of water treatment, sunscreen and other products,” Brown said.

In addition to exploring where chemicals linger in our everyday lives, Unacceptable Levels investigates how these chemicals enter our bodies and our homes as well as the history and regulation of industrial chemicals in the U.S.

The film took around four years to make and Brown interviewed over 70 people for it, including a number of experts in the fields of science, advocacy and law. Earlier this year, the film won the Health and Environment Prize at the 30th International Environmental Film Festival in Paris.


80,000 chemicals are available on today’s market yet most of them have not been tested for long-term health effects, according to Rodale News. This means that the chemicals we are exposed to each day could in fact be the cause of a number of serious diseases and disorders, many of which are claiming an ever-increasing number of lives.

Unacceptable Levels helps shine a light on the chemical industry and the chemicals it produces in an attempt to establish a clearer link between health problems and the chemicals that surround us.

View the trailer for “Unacceptable Levels” below and consider hosting a screening in your local community:

For more information about the documentary, please visit:


Image source: Unacceptable Levels Trailer screenshot