Slow Death By Rubber Duck: How The Toxic Chemistry Of Everyday Life Affects Our Health

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Slow Death By Rubber Duck: How The Toxic Chemistry Of Everyday Life Affects Our Health

by Bruce Lourie, Rick Smith, Sarah Dopp

Knopf Canada | May 5, 2009 | Hardcover |

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Funny, thought-provoking, and incredibly disturbing, Slow Death by Rubber Duck reveals that just the living of daily life creates a chemical soup inside each of us.

Pollution is no longer just about belching smokestacks and ugly sewer pipes - now, it''s personal.

The most dangerous pollution has always come from commonplace items in our homes and workplaces. Smith and Lourie ingested and inhaled a host of things that surround all of us all the time. This book exposes the extent to which we are poisoned every day of our lives. For this book, over the period of a week - the kind of week that would be familiar to most people - the authors use their own bodies as the reference point and tell the story of pollution in our modern world, the miscreant corporate giants who manufacture the toxins, the weak-kneed government officials who let it happen, and the effects on people and families across the globe. Parents and concerned citizens will have to read this book.

Key concerns raised in Slow Death by Rubber Duck:
• Flame-retardant chemicals from electronics and household dust polluting our blood.
• Toxins in our urine caused by leaching from plastics and run-of-the-mill shampoos, toothpastes and deodorant.
• Mercury in our blood from eating tuna.
• The chemicals that build up in our body when carpets and upholstery off-gas.

Ultimately hopeful, the book empowers readers with some simple ideas for protecting themselves and their families, and changing things for the better.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 336 Pages, 5.51 × 8.66 × 0.79 in

Published: May 5, 2009

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307397122

ISBN - 13: 9780307397126

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– More About This Product –

Slow Death By Rubber Duck: How The Toxic Chemistry Of Everyday Life Affects Our Health

by Bruce Lourie, Rick Smith, Sarah Dopp

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 336 Pages, 5.51 × 8.66 × 0.79 in

Published: May 5, 2009

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307397122

ISBN - 13: 9780307397126

Read from the Book

Introduction The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl. –Dave Barry The book that you’re holding is downright hopeful. Now this may seem counterintuitive, given that the word “death” appears in the title and the book describes a great many toxic chemicals that are screwing up our bodies in myriad ways. There is that. And getting all Pollyanna-ish is certainly premature. But things can change. Sometimes very quickly and for the better. As we wrote this book, we had to run hard just to keep up, as governments the world over complicated our writing with a European ban on noxious flame-retardant chemicals in televisions, Canadian legislative changes to put the kibosh on toxic baby bottles and, after a prolonged drought, a new U.S. law (signed by George Bush, no less) restricting hormone-mimicking ingredients in the plastic of children’s toys. That’s a lot of action in six months. And as we started to catch the first glimmers of our elected leaders getting their collective act together, many people began systematically purging their homes of suspect consumer products to make way for safer alternatives. The tide has started to turn. With surging public awareness quickly pushing the issue of toxic chemicals up the societal priority list, we set out to design something that would contribute, in some small way, to this awakening. This is more than a book. It’s kind of a big, unprecedented, adult science fair pr
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Theo Colborn
Acknowledgments

Introduction
One: Pollution Then and Now
Two: Rubber Duck Wars
Three: The World's Slipperiest Substance
Four: The New PCBs
Five: Quicksilver, Slow Death
Six: Germophobia
Seven: Risky Business: 2, 4-D and the Sound of Science
Eight: Mother Knows Best
Nine: Detox

Resource Guide/Further Reading
Notes
Credits
Index

From the Publisher

Funny, thought-provoking, and incredibly disturbing, Slow Death by Rubber Duck reveals that just the living of daily life creates a chemical soup inside each of us.

Pollution is no longer just about belching smokestacks and ugly sewer pipes - now, it''s personal.

The most dangerous pollution has always come from commonplace items in our homes and workplaces. Smith and Lourie ingested and inhaled a host of things that surround all of us all the time. This book exposes the extent to which we are poisoned every day of our lives. For this book, over the period of a week - the kind of week that would be familiar to most people - the authors use their own bodies as the reference point and tell the story of pollution in our modern world, the miscreant corporate giants who manufacture the toxins, the weak-kneed government officials who let it happen, and the effects on people and families across the globe. Parents and concerned citizens will have to read this book.

Key concerns raised in Slow Death by Rubber Duck:
• Flame-retardant chemicals from electronics and household dust polluting our blood.
• Toxins in our urine caused by leaching from plastics and run-of-the-mill shampoos, toothpastes and deodorant.
• Mercury in our blood from eating tuna.
• The chemicals that build up in our body when carpets and upholstery off-gas.

Ultimately hopeful, the book empowers readers with some simple ideas for protecting themselves and their families, and changing things for the better.

From the Jacket

"Indispensable and unputdownable, Smith and Lourie take our - and their - toxic temperature. As scary as it all is, the really surprising part is how easily we can start cleaning up our act."
- Ann-Marie MacDonald, author of The Way the Crow Flies and Fall On Your Knees

"Open this book and you'll never look at a rubber duck the same way again. . . . [Slow Death by Rubber Duck] goes beyond scare tactics to solutions that we can all apply to our daily lives."
- Green Living"A fascinating and frightening read leavened by frequent references to pop culture - everything from Saturday Night Live episodes to quotes from Miss Marple - as well as the authors' brio in using their own bodies as test subjects. . . . Important and timely."
- The Globe and Mail

"Alarming, engrossing, and just plain loony at times, their experiments drive home just how mundanely day-to-day our mass chemical poisoning has become."
- Adria Vasil, author of Ecoholic

About the Author

As Executive Director of Environmental Defence, Rick Smith is one of Canada's leading environmentalists. Bruce Lourie is an environmental professional with expertise in toxic pollution and mercury. He is president of the Ivey Foundation. Sarah Dopp is a veteran grassroots organizer, political staffer and campaigner. They live in Toronto.

Editorial Reviews

"Indispensable and unputdownable, Smith and Lourie take our - and their - toxic temperature. As scary as it all is, the really surprising part is how easily we can start cleaning up our act."
- Ann-Marie MacDonald, author of The Way the Crow Flies and Fall On Your Knees

"Open this book and you''ll never look at a rubber duck the same way again. . . . [Slow Death by Rubber Duck] goes beyond scare tactics to solutions that we can all apply to our daily lives."
- Green Living"A fascinating and frightening read leavened by frequent references to pop culture - everything from Saturday Night Live episodes to quotes from Miss Marple - as well as the authors'' brio in using their own bodies as test subjects. . . . Important and timely."
- The Globe and Mail

"Alarming, engrossing, and just plain loony at times, their experiments drive home just how mundanely day-to-day our mass chemical poisoning has become."
- Adria Vasil, author of Ecoholic
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