September 15, 2008

Poisoned Profits

Did you know that dryer clothes are one of the worst things you can bring into your house??? Crazy right??? The other day I was listening to one of my favorite talk shows "Think" on NPR and these two authors, Philip & Alice Shabecoff, were on talking about their new book "Poisoned Profits: The Toxic Assault on our Children". The things they were saying was absolutely terrifying to me. I ordered the book but I'm scared to read it.

I don't want to get into too much detail but I highly recommend anyone who has kids or is thinking about having kids buy/read this book. If for anything, they have a chapter in the book that lists "helpful tips" on how we can help avoid the exposure of toxins to our kids. Get it...this is a MUST HAVE!!! Here is a quick description of the book:

In this shocking and sobering book, two fearless journalists directly and definitively link industrial toxins to the current rise in childhood disease and death. In the tradition of Silent Spring, Poisoned Profits is a landmark investigation, an eye-opening account of a country that prizes money over children’s health.

With indisputable data, Philip Shabecoff and Alice Shabecoff reveal that the children of baby boomers–the first to be raised in a truly “toxified” world–have higher rates of birth defects, asthma, cancer, autism, and other serious illnesses than previous generations. In piercing case histories, the authors identify the culprit as corporate pollution. Here are the stories of such places as Dickson, Tennessee, where babies were born with cleft lips and palates after landfill chemicals seeped into the water, and Port Neches, Texas, where so many graduates of a high school near synthetic rubber and chemical plants contracted cancer that the school was nicknamed “Leukemia High.”

The danger to our children isn’t just in the outside world, though. The Shabecoffs provide evidence that our homes are now infested with everything from dangerous flame retardants in crib mattresses to harmful plastic softeners in teething rings to antibiotics and arsenic in chicken–additives that are absorbed by growing and physically vulnerable kids as well as by pregnant women. Compounding the problem are chemical corporations that sabotage investigations and regulations, a government that refuses to police these companies, and corporate-hired scientists who keep pertinent secrets massaged with skewed data of their own.

Poisoned Profits also demonstrates how people are fighting back, whether through grassroots parents’ groups putting pressure on politicians, the rise of “ecotheology” in the pulpits of formerly indifferent churches, or the new “green chemistry” being practiced in labs to replace bad elements with good. The Shabecoffs also include helpful tips on reducing risks to children in how they eat and play, and in how parents clean and maintain their homes.

Powerful, unflinching, and eminently readable, Poisoned Profits is a wake-up call that is bound to inspire talk and force change.

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