Current Reads

Killer Rubber Duckies

Environmental activists examine check out the danger of rubber ducks.

Book Cover In their eye-opening new book Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things (Counterpoint), Canadian environmental activists Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie quote from Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring:
“For the first time in the history of the world every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals from the moment of conception until death.” That was 1962. Let’s see how we are doing today.
Over a four-day period, Smith and Lourie conducted an experiment ingesting and inhaling various commonplace things that surround us all, measuring and comparing the before/after pollution load. And part of this alarming story is the danger posed by seven familiar everyday substances.

The authors conclude:
In many ways, this new and exciting public concern with toxic chemicals in consumer products is the flip side of the global warming coin. Where global warming is a huge problem necessitating ecosystem level solutions, the clean up of toxic chemicals begins at home. The sources of our pollution are readily identifiable and they are often innocuous household icons such as rubber ducks and baby bottles. We try in this book with our self-experimentation, to tell the story of this very personal kind of pollution in an engaging way. We hope it builds on the rich tradition of our own pollution fighting heroes and heroines who kicked back at corporate complacency and the nay saying status quo, allowing us to imagine a safer toxin free world for our children.
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