Gina Solomon

Bio: I have been a senior scientist at NRDC for 12 years, and my work is focused on protecting people from toxic chemicals. I've worked on preventing mercury and lead poisoning, researching levels of diesel exhaust inside school buses, banning the most dangerous pesticides, getting endocrine-disrupting chemicals out of consumer products, and helping to answer people's questions about their health and the environment. I have also been very involved in working with communities—for example, testing the air, water and soil in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to identify toxic contamination that needed to be cleaned up. More recently, I've become really worried about the looming health threats of global warming, so that's my latest focus. When I'm not at NRDC, I see patients in a clinic and teach at the University of California at San Francisco. I went to medical school at Yale and did a residency in internal medicine, followed by a fellowship in occupational and environmental medicine at Harvard. I live in San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood with my partner of 23 years and our two dogs. You'll find us hiking the hills around the Bay Area most weekends. 

Roots in:
New York City

Favorite place: California's Mount Tamalpais

Why "environmentalism" matters: What motivates me is the hope of having a world where people can be healthy and not sickened by pollution. For our own health, we need clean air, safe drinking water, products that won't poison us and neighborhoods that aren't being dumped on by some polluter. In my view, environmentalism is all about creating homes, neighborhoods and a world in which we can live healthy lives. We also need a planet that can sustain us and the next generation—that's why we need to stop cooking with greenhouse gases.