Surviving Daily Toxins
Learn how to stay healthy despite daily exposure to pollution.
Do you know that you are being poisoned daily at work and home?
You probably think the outdoors is more polluted than the indoors. Actually, the most dangerous pollution takes place in our homes and workplaces. I recently read Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things by Canadian authors Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie, which immensely expanded my of knowledge how chemicals make their way inside of us and the impact they can have on our health. This book is pleasantly armed and dangerous with facts about products we use in our everyday living.
Slow Death by Rubber Duck is not all doom and gloom. The information is conveyed with a sense of humor that keeps you absorbed and wanting to learn more. The authors self-sacrificed themselves for one week in a rented apartment while they consumed and inhaled a multitude of things that surround us and we use each day. This book discloses how much poison we are exposed to on a daily basis. It also tells the story of pollution in our modern day world and about miscreant corporate giants who manufacture toxins, including the weak government officials who let it happen, and how this affects men, women and children globally.
The most disturbing aspect the authors learned from their self-experiment was the ease with which chemicals increased in their bodies. For example, phthalates, which are hormone disrupting chemicals found in fragrances as well as soft vinyl products, increased 22 times just by the authors using personal-care products daily containing that chemical. The chemical triclosan, which is the active ingredient in antibacterial products, has been linked to reproductive problems and hormone disruption. Just within a two-day period, the authors levels of triclosan increased by 2,900 times by using common household products containing that chemical. It is amazing to think there are so many people who use antibacterial products and probably have massive levels of triclosan in their bodies all the time. The American Medical association has called a ban on the household use of antibacterial products because they fear the chemicals are creating a whole new generation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The following are some of the concerns raised by the authors:
- Chemicals that can build-up in our body when new carpets and upholstery off-gas.
- Flame retardant chemicals from electronics and household dust polluting our blood.
- Toxins in our urine caused by leaching from plastics and mediocre shampoos, toothpastes and deodorants.
- Products containing sweet smells such as personal-care products with heavy artificial fragrances, PVC shower curtains, air fresheners, and children’s toys.
- Products labeled “antibacterial” that contain triclosan found personal-care products, cleaning products, socks, and even underwear.
- Cosmetic products containing phthalates and triclosans.
- Mercury in our blood from consuming tuna.
- Lawn and garden pesticide spray exposure for adults, children and pets.
Even though at the present there is not such a thing as a non-chemical life, it is important that the information this book provides be shared. We owe it to our families, friends and pets to be ecologically informed.
Empower yourself with simple the ideas from Slow Death by Rubber Duck and help change things for the better!
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Lynn Hoffman, IIDA, RID, LEED® - AP ID+C, is a Sustainable Interior Designer with more than 25 years experience working nationally and internationally producing Corporate, Hospitality and Prestigious Residential projects for Fortune 500 and celebrity clients, architects and builders. Her office is located in downtown Stamford, CT and offers a full range of services dedicated to elevating eco-conscious designs to new levels of luxury and sophistication.
One Stamford Plaza
263 Tresser Boulevard, 9th Floor
Stamford, CT 06901
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Photograph: Melani Lust Photography