Thursday, August 5, 2010

Slow death by rubber duck

"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushed down remorselessly all that stands in its path".
- Miss Marple

I'm currently reading "Slow death by rubber duck" and if "Chemical free Kids" hadnt put me on the path to making our house plastic-free then this has made me hit the ground running to ensure it occurs yesterday.

By Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie, this book is a must read. Each chapter deals with a different life experiment of another toxic nasty. Since I was already avoiding PVC, Triclosan, Teflon and BPA, the chapters I found most shocking were those on the levels of mercury we absorb (goodbye canned tuna) but also the insidiousness of BPA.

"Picture a drop of water, in which BPA is present in a concentration of one part per billion. Now tell me how many individual molecules of BPA would be in that water drop".

"A few hundred thousand?"

"Not even close. Try 132 billion. And each one of those molecules is able to turn cell receptors on and off just like hormones do"

- Slow Death by Rubber Duck (Smith & Lourie, 2009)

I knew the obvious things that some of these nasties were in but others surprised me (like my glasses lenses - vomit, vomit). Also the fact that people have known that these chemicals are toxic for 70 years in some cases, and that we have still gone ahead and produced things for both ourselves and our children is horrendous.

But it's not all doom and gloom. They have a great chapter with a roadmap on how to detox yourself, your house and your lifestyle, which I think is both very upbeat and helpful.

I believe this toxic pollution of our bodies, our health, our home environment and our children is as important as climate change. We are poisoning ourselves, the ones we love and our planet, so if you agree about even one of those areas, then you must read this book.


  1. I heard about this book recently. I'm definitely going to read it. Thanks for the push along!

  2. Thanks for the review - i have a copy on reserve at the moment.

    Those numbers are scary.

    So far my house is nearly..... plastic free.... still working on the kids toys :( , the lego is the hardest to part with as they love it to much.

    But the kitchen and bathroom is plastic free :).

  3. Funnily enough they say that lego isnt that bad and is one of the more green things you can have your kids play with. That's because it lasts along time and can be reused by passing onto other children. They say it is BPA and pthalate free - but the again it is still plastic.

  4. Thanks Mrs B .... Our lego is pretty old. And much loved, i'll do some more reading. It just worried me since the little monkeys are always using there teeth to pull the pieces apart when they get stuck *shakes head*.

    I told them last night i was going to clean out the toy room they didn't seem phased, hopefully they will be to excited with the "new" things to notice the old plastic stuff gone :) ... so far the only survives are the wooden blocks, wooden train set and wooden animals (Oh and a bag of plastic animals but they are more sentimental value then played with)..

    Its so hard especially when friends and family seem to love the fantastic plastic toys :( every birthday is scary.

    (although i'm a tad extreme)