Monday, February 24, 2014

Toxin Toxout Review

I used to use chemical bathroom cleaner that flared my asthma. There was even a warning on the can that it wasn't suitable for people with respiratory conditions, but I kept using it, choosing to medicalize the situation instead of seeking a healthy alternative: it's not the cleaner's fault that I have asthma; I can tolerate a bit of breathing discomfort for the sake of cleanliness.

Later, I read Toxin Toxout, a great book about what toxins do to our bodies and how we can avoid them and I had a paradigmatic epiphany: the chemical product wasn't bad for me because I had asthma; it's bad for all of us because it includes toxic chemicals. I just feel the effects immediately and the implications on my health are very obvious.

Toxin Toxout authors Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith explain that we encounter toxins every day in our personal care products like shampoo and cosmetics, in our foods (pesticides!) and many other places, including the interior of our cars. They conduct many odd experiments like spending hours in a car to take in the chemicals from the car's interior, measuring chemicals before and after.

Bruce and Rick also discuss consumer empowerment: chemical-free products do thrive in the market if consumers are informed and can readily access and afford them.

It is a really optimistic read. There are lots of things we can do to avoid these chemicals and there are lots of businesses doing the same: from disposing electronics responsibly to removing toxins from their products. We don't have to live in a toxic world. We can do something about it.

I'd like to thank Environmental Defence for giving me a free copy of Toxin Toxout. This fantastic organization advocates for changes to environmental issues and inspires citizens, corporations and government to take action. The ED website is a fantastic resource.

Read Toxin Toxout and learn about the chemicals that are inside of you right now where they're coming from and what you can do.

1 comment :

  1. You've got asthma, I've got sarcoidosis, also a respiratory condition plus added bonuses. That's quite a paradigmatic epiphany you had. My problem is I don't want to know everything because I'd be scared to death what I would find, but if it's an optimistic read, I'm all for it. See, you've got me curious. I've been using a lot of healthy stuff to get toxins out of my system. If I didn't, I would die. Plain and simple. I know, it's a sobering thought :)