February 17th, 2010
By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now
Having just read and reviewed Slow Death By Rubber Duck, I had a few questions for co-author Rick Smith, head of Environmental Defence Canada.
And since his book was costing me — some $120 for a new set of stainless steel cookware to replace my stick-free, Teflon-coated set — I thought he owed me some answers.
We chatted earlier this week, while he took advantage of Family Day in Canada, visiting a playground with his young boys, a strong impetus behind his work to educate the public about harmful environmental and household toxic chemicals. The younger generation, he worried, has an even higher ‘body burden’ of chemicals than we adults grew up with.
In the book, he and co-author Bruce Lourie, an environmental consultant, test common toxics to find out how they get from consumer goods and food into our bodies. In fact, they ingest or expose themselves to these chemicals to chart the effects.
The basic idea: Since many of these toxic ingredients have been shown in lab experiments to act as endocrine disruptors and cancer triggers figuring out how to limit or reduce our exposure could have positive health effects, for kids and adults.