Environmental connections to public health >>
Rubber Ducky: You're so not the one
Special to Enviroblog by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie, Co-Authors, Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things
The first question we usually get asked about our book, Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things, is: "What's up with the unusual title? A rubber duck? Dangerous?"
As any EWG fan will know, the answer to this is, unfortunately, yes. Perversely, most rubber ducks these days aren't made of rubber at all. They're vinyl -- a plastic that's full of potent hormone-disrupting chemicals called phthalates. Whenever a child handles or chews the soft and squishy toy, the chemical is absorbed and begins wrecking havoc. The rubber duck, that most beloved of household icons, perfectly symbolizes the new and surprising kind of pollution that threatens our health and environment. Pollution like:
- Stain repellent coatings on sofas and rugs,
- Bisphenol A in containers in the kitchen, and
- Triclosan in anti-bacterial soap (among others).
Our homes are full of presumably innocuous items that are turning out to be significant sources of hormone-disrupting pollutants. And our kids are the most at risk. As advocates working on this issue, we wanted to experience these chemicals firsthand and to investigate their properties in a (very!) new way. To research our book, Slow Death by Rubber Duck, we decided to experiment on ourselves. Over a four-day period, we ingested and inhaled a host of things that surround us all every day, all of which are suspected of being toxic and posing long-term health risks to humans. By revealing the pollution load in our bodies before and after the experiment -- and the results in most cases are downright frightening -- we tell the inside story of seven common substances. After achieving bestseller status in Canada, Slow Death by Rubber Duck has just been released in the US. The advance reviews are great. The Washington Post had this to say (read the full review):
Slow Death by Rubber Duck is hard-hitting in a way that turns your stomach and yet also instills hope for a future in which consumers make safer, more informed choices and push their governments to impose tougher regulations on the chemicals all around us.
Slow Death By Rubber Duck empowers readers with ideas for protecting themselves and their families and changing things for the better. If you're concerned about the level of toxins in your body and want to understand the hidden threats already in your home, you should read this book. You'll never look at a rubber duck the same way again.
Grab a copy on EWG's Amazon page (they get a percent of proceeds) or at your local bookstore. And please follow our US book tour herel. It includes a stop in DC with EWG President, Ken Cook on January 20th @ 6:30 PM at Busboys and Poets.
We hope to meet you soon. Thanks for your support! Together, we're making a difference.