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This title in other editions

The Body Toxic: How the Hazardous Chemistry of Everyday Things Threatens Our Health and Well-Being

by

The Body Toxic: How the Hazardous Chemistry of Everyday Things Threatens Our Health and Well-Being Cover

ISBN13: 9780865477469
ISBN10: 0865477469
Condition: Standard
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Awards

2009 Gold Nautilus Award

Staff Pick

Listen up, America, because this is a wake-up call. The Body Toxic sheds light on the toxic threats we encounter daily in toys, clothes, cosmetics, cookware, and more. The harmful effects of everyday products on our health are staggering, and Baker's eye-opening report is essential reading.
Recommended by Ted, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

We are running a collective chemical fever that we cannot break. Everyone everywhere now carries a dizzying array of chemical contaminants, the by-products of modern industry and innovation that contribute to a host of developmental deficits and health problems in ways just now being understood. These toxic substances, unknown to our grandparents, accumulate in our fat, bones, blood, and organs as a consequence of womb-to-tomb exposure to industrial substances as common as the products that contain them. Almost everything we encounter — from soap to soup cans and computers to clothing — contributes to a chemical load unique to each of us. Scientists studying the phenomenon refer to it as “chemical body burden,” and in The Body Toxic, the investigative journalist Nena Baker explores the many factors that have given rise to this condition — from manufacturing breakthroughs to policy decisions to political pressure to the demands of popular culture. While chemical advances have helped raise our standard of living, making our lives easier and safer in many ways, there are costs to these conveniences that chemical companies would rather consumers never knew about. Baker draws back the curtain on this untold impact and assesses where we go from here.

Review:

"This is a chilling look at the questionable safety of nearly everything we store food in, drink from, wear, walk on, rest on and drive. Chemicals used to make everything from water-repellant jackets and flame retardants to unbreakable plastics used for food storage are building up in our bodies and the environment with possible far-reaching consequences, says journalist Baker. She focuses on 'endocrine disruptors' that alter hormone levels, even in fetuses. Individual chapters consider the weed killer atrazine; phthalates found in many cosmetics; and perfluorooctanoic acid, used in nonstick and stain-repellant coatings. Lab studies have linked these chemicals to cancer, diabetes, obesity and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, among other problems. Baker blasts both Democrats and Republicans in Congress for the 'toothless' Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, which leaves testing and reporting results to the manufacturer. But the companies rely on skilled public relations firms to attack scientists who raise safety concerns. The current pro-business administration also takes some licks from Baker. Although she offers suggestions for reducing exposure to these chemicals, 'No place — and no one — is immune.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

“Baker is neither obsessive nor alarmist. She calmly presents two decades worth of critical research into the science and industries behind leading chemical culprits such as phthalates, pesticides, and PFOAs. In an appendix, she outlines the reasonable, manageable steps she's taken to detox her own home, body, and lifestyle.” Plenty

Review:

"Baker has written an illuminating, consumer-oriented book that sifts through some of the latest findings about the dangers of everyday chemicals.... Throughout The Body Toxic, Baker gives consumers information to help them make 'informed decisions,' and she includes a list of a dozen steps she has taken to minimize her exposure to toxic chemicals." Seth Shulman, The Washington Post

Synopsis:

We are running a collective chemical fever that we cannot break. Everyone everywhere now carries a dizzying array of chemical contaminants, the by-products of modern industry and innovation that contribute to a host of developmental deficits and health problems in ways just now being understood. These toxic substances, unknown to our grandparents, accumulate in our fat, bones, blood, and organs as a consequence of womb to tomb exposure to industrial substances as common as the products that contain them. Almost everything we encounter — from soap to soup cans and computers to clothing — contributes to a chemical load unique to each of us. Scientists studying the phenomenon refer to it as “chemical body burden,” and in The Body Toxic, the investigative journalist Nena Baker explores the many factors that have given rise to this condition.

Synopsis:

We are running a collective chemical fever that we cannot break. Everyone everywhere now carries a dizzying array of chemical contaminants, the by-products of modern industry and innovation, that contribute to a host of developmental deficits and health problems in ways just now being understood. These toxic substances, unknown to our grandparents, accumulate in our fat, bones, blood, and organs as a consequence of womb-to-tomb exposure to industrial substances as common as the products that contain them. Almost everything we encounter--from soap to soup cans, computers to clothing--contributes to a chemical load unique to each of us. Scientists studying the phenomenon refer to it as chemical body burden, and in The Body Toxic, the investigative journalist Nena Baker explores the many factors that have given rise to this condition. Nena Baker is a former staff writer for The Arizona Republic, The Oregonian, and United Press International. Her award-winning investigation of Nike's Indonesian factories led to numerous improvements for workers.

A Plenty Magazine Top 10 Green Book of the Year

We are running a collective chemical fever that we cannot break. Everyone everywhere now carries a dizzying array of chemical contaminants, the by-products of modern industry and innovation that contribute to a host of developmental deficits and health problems in ways just now being understood. These toxic substances, unknown to our grandparents, accumulate in our fat, bones, blood, and organs as a consequence of womb-to-tomb exposure to industrial substances as common as the products that contain them. Almost everything we encounter--from soap to soup cans and computers to clothing--contributes to a chemical load unique to each of us.

Scientists studying the phenomenon refer to it as chemical body burden, and in The Body Toxic, the investigative journalist Nena Baker explores the many factors that have given rise to this condition--from manufacturing breakthroughs to policy decisions to political pressure to the demands of popular culture. While chemical advances have helped raise our standard of living, making our lives easier and safer in many ways, there are costs to these conveniences that chemical companies would rather consumers never knew about. Baker draws back the curtain on this untold impact and assesses where we go from here. This important book will make it impossible to ignore the inconvenient truths about products we use everyday. Be prepared to be amazed at what is known and not known about thousands of chemicals that are used in our clothes, our homes, our pizza boxes, and just about everything else.--Diana Zuckerman, Ph.D., President, National Research Center for Women & Families

In Body Toxic, Baker begins with a visit to Commonweal, a Marin County environmental health institute, to explore some biomonitoring studies, which ascertain the numbers and types of foreign chemicals in humans. She then explores the implications of humans harboring so many substances, including increased risk of 'cancers of the breast, testicles, and brain; lowered sperm count; early puberty; endometriosis and other defects of the female reproductive system; diabetes; obesity; attention deficit disorder; asthma; and autism.' It's a frightening list, and Baker acknowledges that the scientific evidence for each of the links between specific chemicals and diseases varies; 'what's extraordinary is that we know so little about the risks posed by their inherent toxic properties.' Citing a disaster such as the Bhopal, India, toxic release in 1984, she continues, 'Unless something goes terribly wrong, we barely note the activities beneath the smokestacks at more than 13,300 chemical plants around the United States.' The bulk of Baker's book contains case studies of various chemicals pesticides, phthalates in cosmetics, Bisphenol A in plastics, PBDE flame retardants and more. Her profile of UC Berkeley biologist Tyrone Hayes is particularly engaging, for he is not only a star researcher and teacher but also an impassioned advocate who was opposed by the chemical industry after his work on pesticides showed scary impacts on frogs.--Steve Heilig, San Francisco Chronicle

Illuminating . . . Throughout The Body Toxic, Baker gives consumers information to help them make 'informed decisions.'--Seth Shulman, The Washington Post Book World

Powerful . . . An eye-opening expose.--John Marshall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Baker is neither obsessive nor alarmist. She calmly presents two decades' worth of critical research into the science and industries behind leading chemical culprits such as phthalates, pesticides, and PFOAs. In an appendix, she outlines the reasonable, manageable steps she's taken to detox her own home, body, and lifestyle.--Plenty

This is it: The book that finally chronicles the chemical invaders tainting us and the environment . . . Any one of the chapters focusing on particular toxins (in weed killers, beauty products, cookware and computers) deserves an outraged movement.--E, The Environmental Magazine

Nena Baker . . . gets her blood tested and finds out she's positive for more than three dozen toxic substances--including DDT (banned 36 years ago). This opens her investigation into our country's long history of better living through chemistry, and the price we're paying now.--O, The Oprah Magazine

I admit this is a scary book with lots of reasons for alarm. But it is an important one because Baker's is one of the growing number of voices shouting for reform and environmental cleanup. Baker does offer hope in the form of things they are doing in Europe to mitigate the damage. Moreover she also has a number of suggestions for avoiding, or limiting, our exposure to the more toxic chemicals we know about.--Donna Chavez, SheKnows

Congress recently handed a partial win to parents and consumer advocates who want to ban

About the Author

Nena Baker is a former staff writer for The Arizona Republic and the Oregonian. Her award-winning investigation of Nike's Indonesian factories led to numerous improvements for workers.  www.thebodytoxic.com

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

MarcusHorne, July 30, 2009 (view all comments by MarcusHorne)
This book is well researched and invaluable to understanding the hazardous chemicals that we are exposed to every day. Its strength is that the author, Ms. Baker, does not make conclusory statements without factual and scientific substantiation, like some books in this area unfortunately do. (Compare "The Body Toxic" with "Poisoned Profits: The Toxic Assault on Our Children.") Ms. Baker carefully and precisely sets forth the scientific facts underlying the book's theme yet does so in an engaging way by including real-life stories that illustrate the hazards behind the scientific facts. The way that she exposes the dangers of assuming that the FDA is protecting the public with regard to these chemicals is especially compelling. In summary, "The Body Toxic" is an exceptionally well-written investigative book that we can't afford to ignore.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(10 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780865477469
Author:
Baker, Nena
Publisher:
North Point Press
Subject:
General
Subject:
Toxicology
Subject:
Philosophy & Social Aspects
Subject:
Philosophy & Aspects
Subject:
Environmental toxicology
Subject:
Health and Medicine-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20090731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
3 Appendixes, Notes, and an Index
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.2 x 5.5 x 0.8 in

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Environment and Health
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

The Body Toxic: How the Hazardous Chemistry of Everyday Things Threatens Our Health and Well-Being Used Trade Paper
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$3.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages North Point Press - English 9780865477469 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Listen up, America, because this is a wake-up call. The Body Toxic sheds light on the toxic threats we encounter daily in toys, clothes, cosmetics, cookware, and more. The harmful effects of everyday products on our health are staggering, and Baker's eye-opening report is essential reading.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This is a chilling look at the questionable safety of nearly everything we store food in, drink from, wear, walk on, rest on and drive. Chemicals used to make everything from water-repellant jackets and flame retardants to unbreakable plastics used for food storage are building up in our bodies and the environment with possible far-reaching consequences, says journalist Baker. She focuses on 'endocrine disruptors' that alter hormone levels, even in fetuses. Individual chapters consider the weed killer atrazine; phthalates found in many cosmetics; and perfluorooctanoic acid, used in nonstick and stain-repellant coatings. Lab studies have linked these chemicals to cancer, diabetes, obesity and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, among other problems. Baker blasts both Democrats and Republicans in Congress for the 'toothless' Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, which leaves testing and reporting results to the manufacturer. But the companies rely on skilled public relations firms to attack scientists who raise safety concerns. The current pro-business administration also takes some licks from Baker. Although she offers suggestions for reducing exposure to these chemicals, 'No place — and no one — is immune.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , “Baker is neither obsessive nor alarmist. She calmly presents two decades worth of critical research into the science and industries behind leading chemical culprits such as phthalates, pesticides, and PFOAs. In an appendix, she outlines the reasonable, manageable steps she's taken to detox her own home, body, and lifestyle.”
"Review" by , "Baker has written an illuminating, consumer-oriented book that sifts through some of the latest findings about the dangers of everyday chemicals.... Throughout The Body Toxic, Baker gives consumers information to help them make 'informed decisions,' and she includes a list of a dozen steps she has taken to minimize her exposure to toxic chemicals."
"Synopsis" by ,

We are running a collective chemical fever that we cannot break. Everyone everywhere now carries a dizzying array of chemical contaminants, the by-products of modern industry and innovation that contribute to a host of developmental deficits and health problems in ways just now being understood. These toxic substances, unknown to our grandparents, accumulate in our fat, bones, blood, and organs as a consequence of womb to tomb exposure to industrial substances as common as the products that contain them. Almost everything we encounter — from soap to soup cans and computers to clothing — contributes to a chemical load unique to each of us. Scientists studying the phenomenon refer to it as “chemical body burden,” and in The Body Toxic, the investigative journalist Nena Baker explores the many factors that have given rise to this condition.

"Synopsis" by , We are running a collective chemical fever that we cannot break. Everyone everywhere now carries a dizzying array of chemical contaminants, the by-products of modern industry and innovation, that contribute to a host of developmental deficits and health problems in ways just now being understood. These toxic substances, unknown to our grandparents, accumulate in our fat, bones, blood, and organs as a consequence of womb-to-tomb exposure to industrial substances as common as the products that contain them. Almost everything we encounter--from soap to soup cans, computers to clothing--contributes to a chemical load unique to each of us. Scientists studying the phenomenon refer to it as chemical body burden, and in The Body Toxic, the investigative journalist Nena Baker explores the many factors that have given rise to this condition. Nena Baker is a former staff writer for The Arizona Republic, The Oregonian, and United Press International. Her award-winning investigation of Nike's Indonesian factories led to numerous improvements for workers.

A Plenty Magazine Top 10 Green Book of the Year

We are running a collective chemical fever that we cannot break. Everyone everywhere now carries a dizzying array of chemical contaminants, the by-products of modern industry and innovation that contribute to a host of developmental deficits and health problems in ways just now being understood. These toxic substances, unknown to our grandparents, accumulate in our fat, bones, blood, and organs as a consequence of womb-to-tomb exposure to industrial substances as common as the products that contain them. Almost everything we encounter--from soap to soup cans and computers to clothing--contributes to a chemical load unique to each of us.

Scientists studying the phenomenon refer to it as chemical body burden, and in The Body Toxic, the investigative journalist Nena Baker explores the many factors that have given rise to this condition--from manufacturing breakthroughs to policy decisions to political pressure to the demands of popular culture. While chemical advances have helped raise our standard of living, making our lives easier and safer in many ways, there are costs to these conveniences that chemical companies would rather consumers never knew about. Baker draws back the curtain on this untold impact and assesses where we go from here. This important book will make it impossible to ignore the inconvenient truths about products we use everyday. Be prepared to be amazed at what is known and not known about thousands of chemicals that are used in our clothes, our homes, our pizza boxes, and just about everything else.--Diana Zuckerman, Ph.D., President, National Research Center for Women & Families

In Body Toxic, Baker begins with a visit to Commonweal, a Marin County environmental health institute, to explore some biomonitoring studies, which ascertain the numbers and types of foreign chemicals in humans. She then explores the implications of humans harboring so many substances, including increased risk of 'cancers of the breast, testicles, and brain; lowered sperm count; early puberty; endometriosis and other defects of the female reproductive system; diabetes; obesity; attention deficit disorder; asthma; and autism.' It's a frightening list, and Baker acknowledges that the scientific evidence for each of the links between specific chemicals and diseases varies; 'what's extraordinary is that we know so little about the risks posed by their inherent toxic properties.' Citing a disaster such as the Bhopal, India, toxic release in 1984, she continues, 'Unless something goes terribly wrong, we barely note the activities beneath the smokestacks at more than 13,300 chemical plants around the United States.' The bulk of Baker's book contains case studies of various chemicals pesticides, phthalates in cosmetics, Bisphenol A in plastics, PBDE flame retardants and more. Her profile of UC Berkeley biologist Tyrone Hayes is particularly engaging, for he is not only a star researcher and teacher but also an impassioned advocate who was opposed by the chemical industry after his work on pesticides showed scary impacts on frogs.--Steve Heilig, San Francisco Chronicle

Illuminating . . . Throughout The Body Toxic, Baker gives consumers information to help them make 'informed decisions.'--Seth Shulman, The Washington Post Book World

Powerful . . . An eye-opening expose.--John Marshall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Baker is neither obsessive nor alarmist. She calmly presents two decades' worth of critical research into the science and industries behind leading chemical culprits such as phthalates, pesticides, and PFOAs. In an appendix, she outlines the reasonable, manageable steps she's taken to detox her own home, body, and lifestyle.--Plenty

This is it: The book that finally chronicles the chemical invaders tainting us and the environment . . . Any one of the chapters focusing on particular toxins (in weed killers, beauty products, cookware and computers) deserves an outraged movement.--E, The Environmental Magazine

Nena Baker . . . gets her blood tested and finds out she's positive for more than three dozen toxic substances--including DDT (banned 36 years ago). This opens her investigation into our country's long history of better living through chemistry, and the price we're paying now.--O, The Oprah Magazine

I admit this is a scary book with lots of reasons for alarm. But it is an important one because Baker's is one of the growing number of voices shouting for reform and environmental cleanup. Baker does offer hope in the form of things they are doing in Europe to mitigate the damage. Moreover she also has a number of suggestions for avoiding, or limiting, our exposure to the more toxic chemicals we know about.--Donna Chavez, SheKnows

Congress recently handed a partial win to parents and consumer advocates who want to ban

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