From Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring to current headlines in the news, there’s long been mounting evidence that we’re being poisoned by everyday items in our lives. I was crushed by the revelation that my trusty Nalgene bottle was leaching bisphenol A into my Brita-filtered water. The first time I had to purchase my own housecleaning supplies, I found myself torn between a well-marketed fear of germs and a wholly legitimate fear of toxic compounds. Like it or not, the unnatural creations of the chemical industry are everywhere.
The facts of our chemical-laden reality are at once alarming and overwhelming. Philip and Alice Shabecoff’s Poisoned Profits: The Toxic Assault on Our Children casts environmental contamination in the context of kids, connecting the dots between the toxification of the young and a slew of once rare, now devastatingly commonplace childhood diseases. The authors — Philip Shabecoff, formerly chief environmental correspondent for The New York Times, and his wife Alice, freelance journalist and former executive director of the National Consumers League — report that childhood cancer rates have risen about 67 percent in ... Read more