Slow Death By Rubber Duck
"We’re all marinating in chemicals every day," write Toronto environmental activists Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie. They go on to soak in a potent, home-made marinade for a week. They do so … by confining themselves to Lourie’s condo — where canned food is nuked in plastic containers and the carpet and couch have been sprayed with a fresh coat of Stainmaster.
“The pair analyze seven everyday chemicals, including those found in personal-care and antibacterial products, nonstick coatings, pesticides, flame retardants plus the bisphenol A (BPA) that leaches from some plastic products and is found in the linings of cans for canned goods. The results are staggering. Among other ad-hoc tests, Smith lathers up with scented Pantene shampoos and Gillette shaving gel and plugs in a Glade-brand air freshener to increase his exposure to phthalates, a group of chemicals commonly found in household products and children’s toys.
“After three days, the amount of phthalate byproducts in Smith’s blood spikes, especially one byproduct that has been linked to male reproductive problems. Lourie gorges on tuna for three days, and his blood mercury level more than doubles, well past the level deemed safe by the U.S. government.
"Slow Death by Rubber Duck" is hard-hitting in a way that turns your stomach and yet also instills hope for a future in which consumers make safer, more informed choices and push their governments to impose tougher regulations on the chemicals all around us.”