Slow Death by Rubber Duck

How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects Our Health

Publisher: Vintage Canada
Funny, thought-provoking, and incredibly disturbing, Slow Death by Rubber Duck reveals that just the living of daily life creates a chemical soup inside each of us.

Pollution is no longer just about belching smokestacks and ugly sewer pipes - now, it's personal.

The most dangerous pollution has always come from commonplace items in our homes and workplaces. Smith and Lourie ingested and inhaled a host of things that surround all of us all the time. This book exposes the extent to which we are poisoned every day of our lives. For this book, over the period of a week - the kind of week that would be familiar to most people - the authors use their own bodies as the reference point and tell the story of pollution in our modern world, the miscreant corporate giants who manufacture the toxins, the weak-kneed government officials who let it happen, and the effects on people and families across the globe. Parents and concerned citizens will have to read this book.

Key concerns raised in Slow Death by Rubber Duck:
• Flame-retardant chemicals from electronics and household dust polluting our blood.
• Toxins in our urine caused by leaching from plastics and run-of-the-mill shampoos, toothpastes and deodorant.
• Mercury in our blood from eating tuna.
• The chemicals that build up in our body when carpets and upholstery off-gas.

Ultimately hopeful, the book empowers readers with some simple ideas for protecting themselves and their families, and changing things for the better.

From the Hardcover edition.



The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl.
–Dave Barry

The book that you’re holding is downright hopeful.

Now this may seem counterintuitive, given that the word “death” appears in the title and the book describes a...
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"Indispensable and unputdownable, Smith and Lourie take our — and their — toxic temperature. As scary as it all is, the really surprising part is how easily we can start cleaning up our act."
— Ann-Marie MacDonald, author of The Way the Crow Flies and Fall On Your Knees

"Open this book and you'll never look at a rubber duck the same way again. . . . [Slow Death by Rubber Duck] goes beyond scare tactics to solutions that we can all apply to our daily lives."
Green Living"A fascinating and frightening read leavened by frequent references to pop culture — everything from Saturday Night Live episodes to quotes from Miss Marple — as well as the authors' brio in using their own bodies as test subjects. . . . Important and timely."
The Globe and Mail

"Alarming, engrossing, and just plain loony at times, their experiments drive home just how mundanely day-to-day our mass chemical poisoning has become."
— Adria Vasil, author of Ecoholic

From the Hardcover edition.