Slow Death by Rubber Duck

Slow Death by Rubber Duck

How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects Our Health

Book - 2009
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'Why don't we experiment on ourselves?' When leading environmentalists Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie decided to tell the story of pollution in our modern world by using their own bodies as laboratories, they could not have known what they were about to discover. They ingested and inhaled a host of things that surround us all the time, from mercury-laden tuna to flame-retardant chemicals in clothes and furniture, to toxins in plastics, toys, shampoos and deoderants. The results of these experiments are both alarming and unexpected. Slow Death by Rubber Duck exposes the extent to which we are being poisoned every day of our lives, both in our homes and our workplaces. It tells the shocking story of corporate giants who manufacture these toxins, the government officials who let it happen and the effects on people across the globe. Funny, thought-provoking and disturbing, Slow Death by Rubber Duck offers solutions for how we might be healthier, safer and more aware. If you are concerned about the level of toxins in your body, care about the environment and want to understand the hidden threats already in your home, you must read this book. You'll never look at a rubber duck in the same way again. 'This book is a powerful reminder that what we do to Mother Earth we directly do to ourselves. Read it to see why we have to change the way we live and get off our destructive path.' DAVID SUZUKI
Publisher: St Lucia, Qld. : University of Queensland Press, 2009.
ISBN: 9780702237645
Branch Call Number: 363.73 SMI
Characteristics: xii, 323 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Lourie, Bruce


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This is not for the faint-hearted, the germaphobic, or the chemical conspiracy theorists . It IS for those who have heard that too much (every day) raw tuna is a bad thing, that you really SHOULD read the labels and most importantly – everything in moderation. This is a book written by two guys (Rick Smith and Bruce Laurie) who decided to put their minds and bodies where their mouths were. They became human guinea pigs in a medically-monitored environment. The results are interesting, informative and very enlightening. I especially enjoyed the comic interlude of one of the authors ripping off the pjs off his young son for fear that they were flammable, whilst his wife sighs and watches on. Written in layman’s terms and it even has a local interest, all the lab tests were conducted in BC. (submitted by JB)

Feb 05, 2018

The subtitle suggested that it would be a book about health, and be correspondingly serious. Instead, it chatty and quite informal; relatively little of the science is explained, but a lot is merely asserted, and that usually phrased in a way to frighten one. The main culprits are phthalates, mercury, triclosan, and bisphenol-a. The authors spend a lot of time on themselves and their families and the testing process. Some of the results are given in graphs. The worst aspect of the book is that chemical names and useful websites are mentioned in the text but not mentioned in the "further resources" section nor the index at the end of the book, so I would highly recommend that one read with a notepad and pen and jot down the names of chemicals and organizations into it for one's later use.

Sep 14, 2013

A great book: funny, intelligent, focused, logically narrated. A great effort to educate us. I wish it had a sequal or an update that included all new data.

Mar 11, 2011

My Dad would really like this. It would confirm his suspicion that everything will eventually kill him. From tuna to make up, nothing is safe. I trust some of the stats but I just don’t care enough to change the way I live my happy shortened life.

Jan 12, 2011

This book will make you read the fine print on all your shampoo,hair products, hand sanitizers, soaps and fragrances. You will be surprised at what is in all those products and how much your body absorbs. Great book with real scientific data from a local analytical lab in Victoria. A must read to keep your kids exposure minimized.

Jan 10, 2011

Awesome book.

This is the only thing I've ever read that makes "the environment" personal. Now I really get it.

Thankfully it offer real solutions in alternatives to use and how to use your own purchasing power to let corporations know you do not want toxic products.

Everyone reading this book will come away with something to improve their lives and the lives of those they care about.

A mandatory read for new parents.

Jul 08, 2010

Scary! The chemical corporations may very well kill the human species.

Jan 30, 2010

Very well written and easy to read. You might expect something like this to be dry, but I had a hard time putting it down, just as much as any novel.

And I love the fact that it is Canadian. Nice to have a Canadian perspective for a change.

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