Saturday, September 10, 2011

Book Review - Slow Death By Rubber Duck

Last week I read Slow Death By Rubber Duck, (How the toxic chemistry of everyday life affects our health), by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie.  Scary!  The two authors decided, after becoming increasingly concerned about the toxins we come in contact with on a daily basis, to perform an experiment on themselves.  They sequestered themselves in a condo for four days, surrounded by the things that emit harmful toxins, and ingested, bathed, ate off and drank out of everything that could possibly contain toxins.  The authors then had their blood and urine tested, and the results are shocking!  In four days their levels of toxins had skyrocketed through the roof. 

Each chapter of the book deals with a different toxin that we come in contact with regularly, such as personal care products, antibacterial products, coating on pots and pans and the insides of canned goods, even garden hoses!  By the time I finished reading this book, I wanted to crawl under a rock, or go off the grid.  Not realistic.  However, the last chapter comes up with action plans and choices we can make as consumers to eliminate some of the toxins we are exposed to.  Such as switching from a non stick frying pan to a cast iron pan, eating light tuna instead of white tuna, using cloth bags instead of plastic bags at the store.  These are all things a lot of us can switch to, or are already doing. 

There is a lot of science in this book, and I am not science oriented.  I'm not going to lie, I skimmed a lot of the more technical stuff.  The authors have a great narrative approach, however, and use a lot of humor in their examples.  I feel better educated on the choices I can make as I bring things into my home.  My initial response to reading this book was fear, of course.  My second response was of apathy, as in it's everywhere, there's no escape, so why bother.  My third response was more reasonable, which is to read labels, be aware, ask questions and find solutions. 


  1. Hmmm, I have a headache...I wonder what its from?

  2. My Husby read this last year and shared his findings with me on a daily basis. Truly a scary and life-changing book!

  3. Sounds really interesting ... I will be on the lookout for it. Thanks!