Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects Our Health by Rick Smith Download (read online) free eBook (PDF ePub Kindle)

Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects Our Health

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

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 Hardcover edition.
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    Amy

    Mar 08, 2010

    rated it
    really liked it

    Eek. Is this why all the little kids I know have asthma or allergies or lots of trouble processing language? I really like their approach, and they do make it a little hopeful in the end (I read ahead to make sure it wasn’t too depressing). The experimented with their toxin levels on themselves. The surprising part to me was that it was only for one week, yet they still saw big changes in level.
    Here are my notes to myself:
    Slow Death By Rubber Duck
    Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie

    www.cosmeticsdatabase

    www.cosmeticsdatabase.com

    Ch. 2 – phthalates – evidence that they possibly screw up our children’s testicular function, various deformities, testicular cancer, and various syndromes.
    *They break down quickly – only 12 hours in your body.
    *listed as Fragrance or Parfum in the ingredients list in products

    Ch. 3 – Teflon (PFOA) and PFC (perflourinated compounds)
    Considered to cause birth defects (cleft palate, tear duct deformity, other facial defects), developmental problems, hormone disruption and high cholesterol, and is a likely carcinogen. One man who was over exposed had asthma, prostate cancer, heart trouble and a liver condition. Workers at the Dupont plant had 3 times the rate of prostate cancer. Cooking fumes from Teflon has killed pet birds.
    Cooking pans, Goretex, Stainmaster and Scotchgard
    *use cast iron, oil and a metal spatula
    *hardwood floors
    *furniture without flame retardants (IKEA)

    Ch. 4 – Flame Retardant – the new PCBs
    Bromine – brominated flame retardants are:
    1. stable (persistent)
    2. Lipophilic (stored in fat) – and so they biomagnify – stack up at the end of the food chain
    3. can be endocrine disruptors
    It breaks down and is in house dust from furniture and carpet. It is woven into polyester pajamas, TVs Stainmaster, halogenated flame retardants,. IKEA avoids them, hardwood floors help etc.

    Ch. 5 – Mercury – tuna
    Is still in old switches, thermometers, thermostats, fillings, light bulbs, waste incineration, coal burning is a big source still
    *flaked or chunk light tuna is smaller fish, so less mercury bioaccumlates
    *sushi – bad
    *lake fish – bad – especially big ones – walleye, pickerel
    *don’t vacuum it!

    Causes brain damage, kidney, nervous system, liver, shaking, endocrine disruptor
    It is stored in protein.
    ZERO mercury is ok – very important for babies.

    Ch. 6 – Triclosan – antibacterial – listed as Microban etc.,
    1. Infectious microbes adapt – we are helping the rise of “superbugs”
    2. In many products, it works no better than without the triclosan
    3. Higher levels of triclosan in people and the environment are now linked to health problems.
    Nano technology may even be worse and more toxic – not yet fully understood, but already fully used.

    Avoid “antibacterial” , Microban, etc.
    Dr. Chuck Gerba (Dr. Germ) – We need to reinvent hygiene. New pieces of electronic equipment are germ transfer points. Nobody ever cleans the pen on the credit card try in a restaurant, the TV remote in a hotel, the cell phone – don’t share.

    Ch. 7 – lawn herbicides
    2-4-D is a hormone herbicide – causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, asthma, neurological impairment, immune suppression, reproductive problems, birth defects

    like mercury – ZERO is the only safe level

    *Ban cosmetic use of pesticides

    Ch. 8 BPA
    BPA in baby bottles etc. – the history behind changing that in Canada
    Cans are lined with them – food cans, pop cans,
    They leach out of plastic into food – especially when heated
    Even food boxes are often lined with plastic
    The smallest amount was an endocrine disruptor in mice.

    Ch. 9
    two conclusions –
    1. Our choices as consumer really do have an effect on the pollution levels in our bodies.
    2. No matter how hard you try you can’t succeed completely in elimination of toxic chemicals from your body.
    Their recommendations:
    Phalates –
    1. Avoid personal care products with heavy artificial fragrances, especially those with “Fragrance” or “Parfum” listed as an ingredient.
    2. Replace your PVC shower curtain with one from recycled polyester, organic cotton or natural fibers.
    3. Opt for fresh air, not air fresheners.
    4. Use healthytoys.org to check products that have been tested
    5. Reduce your fat intake

    PFC’s – perflourochemicals – non-stickies

    1. Dump your old non-stick frying pan – especially if it is scratched. Also avoid Gore-tex and Scotchgard.
    2. Avoid too much fast food – the packaging may be covered in PFCs.
    3. Read the labels and avoid consumer products with PFCs.
    4. Remind politicians that chemicals should be proved safe before they’re made commercially available.
    5. Encourage politicians to introduce legislation to phase out PFCs from food wrappers and other consumer products.

    Flame Retardants – PBDEs – polybrominated diphenyl ethers
    1. Use naturally fibred products – like wool, hemp and cotton. They are chemical free and naturally fire resistant.
    2. Buy newer, PBCE-free furniture or replace old upholstery with proper ventilation.
    3. Dust and vacuum often to keep the dust and PBDEs away.
    4. Buy electronics that are PBDE free
    5. Find a local organization that will accept and reuse your old computers and other electronic equipment.
    6. Write letters to politicians telling them to enact legislation to protect our homes and communities from PBDEs. There are groups all over North America working to ban PBDEs and to institute e-waste legislation.

    Mercury –
    1. Eat fewer big fish, and avoid larger predatory fish. Eat more small fish.
    2. Return used or discarded mercury-containing products to the store where you bought them or to hazardous waste depot. Don’t throw them in the garbage.
    3. Check out eh US Natural Resources Defense Council tuna calculator to see the extent to which the fish you’re consuming are cranking up your mercury levels.
    4. White albacore tuna should always be avoided. Try canned light (skipjack) tuna instead.
    5. Wild fish – especially salmon, are often eco-responsible options.
    6. Ask your grocery store to post government advisories about safe fish.
    7. Support legislators who are pushing for emissions reductions from products and industrial process.

    Triclosan

    1. Avoid products labeled “antibacterial” that contain triclosan, and be wary of brand names such as Microban, Biofresth, Irgasan DP 300, Lexol 300, Ster-Zac, or Cloxifermolum. It is sometimes labeled by its chemical name 5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol.
    2. Wash your hands the “old fashioned” way – with a good 30 second lather of soap and water.
    3. Check out cosmeticsdatabase.com to find out what’s in your cosmetic products.
    4. Check the Lesstoxicguide.ca and read labels to avoid hazardous household cleaners.
    5. Use baking soda, borax or other natural household cleaners to clean the bathroom or kitchen.
    6. Avoid products containing nanosilver and be wary of other nanoparticles, such as nanozinc (in sunscreens). Demand that these chemicals undergo safety testing prior to being used in products.
    7. Press your elected officials to legislate for better control of triclosan and nanotechnology.

    Pesticides

    1. Use environmentally friendly lawn care.
    2. Go with a chemical free lawn.
    3. Replace your lawn with a native plant garden.
    4. Support local efforts to ban cosmetic use of pesticides.
    5. Put a pesticide free sign on your lawn or in your garden.
    6. Eat local and or organic. Avoid pesticides and chemical additives in your food.
    7. Wash produce well to help remove pesticide residues.
    8. Clip the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list and put it in your wallet, so you can avoid foods that likely contain more pesticides than others. (see http://www.foodnews.org/walletguide.php)
    9. Shop at a local farmers’ market and ask about pesticide use.

    Bisphenol A

    1. When puzzling over the small recycling numbers on the bottom of plastic containers, remember this mantra: 4-5, 1 and 2; all the rest are bad for you.
    2. Hang the Handy Plastics Guide on your fridge.
    3. Use glass baby bottles.
    4. Download a copy of the Zrecs shoppers guide for your purse of wallet or text message Zrecs to find out about the product you’re looking at in the store.
    5. Check the Environmental Working Group guide to infant formula and baby bottles.
    6. Organize your child’s daycare to go BPS free and sign on at the Toxic Nation website (www.toxicnation.ca)
    7. Eat fresh or frozen food or food stored in glass bottles instead of canned foods.
    8. Avoid putting plastic containers in the microwave.
    9. Use cloth bags instead of plastic bags for shopping.
    10. Contact your local representative to encourage your city to ban disposable plastic water bottles.

    More tips and info at: www.SlowDeathByRubberDuck.com

    toxicnation.ca
    lesstoxicguide.ca
    greenpeace.org/international/campaign…
    thegreenguide.com
    nrdc.org
    simplesteps.org
    World Wildlife Fund’s Detox Campaign

    www.cdc.gov/exposurereport
    database.healthandenvironment.org
    environmentalhealthnews.org
    eu-humanbiomonitoring.org
    chemicalsubstances.gc.ca
    Canadian Health Measures Survey
    toxipedia.org


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