Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Slow Death by Rubber Duck: A Review

I have had this book on my to-read list for awhile. Ever since it came out actually. Deciding to choose a new book for my class to read next term was the motivation I needed to actually get my hands on it and read it. And I'm glad I did.
The book is insanely scary, but also full of humor and easy to read. The book is written by two Canadian scientists who, in order to study how everyday products affect us, purposely try to increase their body burden of several chemicals that are known, or believed, to be dangerous to our health. They expose themselves to phthalates, BPA, mercury, teflon, flame retardants, and probably a couple other things I am forgetting about. They use normal everyday items to expose themselves (like eating tuna sandwiches), but do repeated exposures over a few days. Testing their blood and urine pre and post exposure shows how much they can increase their toxic body burden in a very short amount of time. And, in some cases, that increase is pretty incredible.
I can't say that I learned anything surprising from this book, but I also teach about these things for a living, and sadly, have heard these types of stories before. Nonetheless, the authors do a great job of intermingling history, politics and current science and wrapping it up into a neat little humorous package. The last chapter focuses on some simple ways that you can help your family avoid some of the burden of these everyday toxic chemicals. This is a great read, especially for folks with children at home.
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  1. I might have to pick this one up. I have seen interviews with both of the authors, and know a lot of what they talk about, so haven't really thought about reading it, but maybe I should :)

  2. Kind of scary that we live in such a toxic world. I will have to check the library for this one. Sounds interesting!