Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul

Slow Death by Rubber Duck

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Before the holidays, I read Slow Death by Rubber Duck.

I’m glad that I read it BEFORE the holidays, because it’s not exactly your typical uplifting holiday-type reading.  Having said that, I highly recommend this book to all of you.  Really, it’s a must read.

Slow Death By Rubber Duck

Overall Impressions

Slow Death by Rubber Duck is written by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie.

It’s an account of a study they both did to test the effects of seven chemicals that are prevalent in our daily lives.  Who did they test these chemicals on?  Themselves!  Yes, they’re both pretty committed to learning about these chemicals and then educating the rest of us about their findings.

It’s terrifying to learn just how much the use of chemicals has spread into everything we touch.  It’s even more scary to learn that babies ingest these chemicals at a much higher rate because they touch and mouth everything so much more, not to mention their fast rate of breathing.

Mr. Smith and Mr. Lourie tested seven different chemicals  They are:

  1. Pthlates
  2. Teflon and other non-stick products
  3. BPA
  4. Mercury
  5. Triclosan
  6. Chemicals that make things flame retardant
  7. DDT

Each one has different properties and has a different history.  Perhaps more importantly, each one has a different effect on our bodies and our environment.  Some are hard to avoid and some aren’t.  Some stay in our bodies for a long time and others don’t. Are you curious yet?

Alia’s Learnings

I learned a lot by reading this book.  It’s full of information and I’m sure I didn’t actually absorb it all on this first read.  You can bet that I’ll be reading it again and again.

From the first time through, here are a few of the quick hits that I can share with you:

Chemicals like Triclosan seem to be incorporated into everything.  For some reason, we have become hypersensitive to germs and rely on this chemical for the feeling of protection from them.  Yet, just a little bit of this chemical isn’t enough to offer protection.  Enough has to be used for it to be effective.  By just using a little bit, we are effectively polluting our bodies and environment for no reason, other than the perception that we might be protected from germs.

The most bizarre example of a product that has Triclosan is the germ-free pizza cutter.  Basically, the handle of the pizza cutter contains a germ-fighting chemical, possibly in a minute quantity.  I’m just not sure why you would need this.  Don’t you wash your pizza cutter after you use it anyway?  And is there enough of the chemical to actually fight the germs in the first place?

Pthlates are in everything!  In a general sense, they make products feel rubbery.  They are in a multitude of plastics, plastic bags, plastic toys and yes, rubber duckies.  As soon as I realized this, I checked my son’s bath toys.  Fortunately, they are all BPA- and pthalate-free.  I was so relieved!  Given the amount of chewing that he does on those bath toys, I’m quite pleased that they don’t have unnecessary chemicals in them.

I love Tuna.  I knew it was high in mercury.  I had no idea just how much mercury is in this fish.  The results of the tests were astounding and it’s made me think twice of just how often I will be eating tuna fish in the future.  Is it worth it?

Why Should You Read This Book?

This book is informative.

It’s funny.

It’s full of practical tips for those who want to live a cleaner life.

If nothing else, you’ll learn something.

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