Here one finds a blend of old-fashioned advice (``Remove onion odors from your hand by rubbing with the cut end of a celery stalk'') with multitudinous warnings about pollutants and dangers lurking in our homes. Radon (``an odorless, colorless, radioactive gas''), formaldehyde-infused building materials, petroleum-based products and carbon monoxide-releasing wood fires are among the risks addressed. Hunter, a former editor of Better Homes and Gardens Remodeling Ideas magazine, presents her ideas in a clear and accessible manner, but like many others who suggest there is cause for alarm about our dwellings, she is unscientific. Her anecdotes, for example, greatly fortify her admonitions, but often no numbers are given to substantiate how many people have experienced various problems, or whether the preponderance of evidence would suggest these problems pose a serious danger for the rest of us. Moreover, all perils are seemingly presented with the same sense of importance, rather than ranked in a hierarchy. (May)
This is a timely and comprehensive guide to the toxin-free home. It draws together thorough scientific information, helpful statistics, and, most importantly, comprehensible advice on how to make one's home safe. Covering everything from asbestos in the toaster oven to chlordane insecticide in crawl spaces, the author gathers more valuable information together in this volume than the average reader could easily access elsewhere. There is an excellent section of ``recipes'' for homemade nontoxic household products such as scouring powders and dishwater soaps. This book is worth purchasing simply for the first of its two appendixes, ``Products and Services,'' which lists addresses of manufacturers of non- or low-toxic bedding, furniture, building materials, and even pet products. Highly recommended.-- John Creech, Western Carolina Univ. Lib., Cullowhee, N.C.