Poisoned for Profit: How Toxins Are Making Our Children Chronically Ill--With new information on what we can do

Overview

In a groundbreaking investigation, two veteran journalists definitively show how, why, and where industrial toxins are causing an explosion of birth defects, cancer, asthma, and other serious illnesses in American children. Philip and Alice Shabecoff follow the trail from corporate coffers through highly paid Washington lobbyists, into the laboratories of scientists-for-hire, to the offices of politicians responsible for regulation, and right back to our homes and schools-which are built, stocked, and "cleaned" ...

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Overview

In a groundbreaking investigation, two veteran journalists definitively show how, why, and where industrial toxins are causing an explosion of birth defects, cancer, asthma, and other serious illnesses in American children. Philip and Alice Shabecoff follow the trail from corporate coffers through highly paid Washington lobbyists, into the laboratories of scientists-for-hire, to the offices of politicians responsible for regulation, and right back to our homes and schools-which are built, stocked, and "cleaned" with deadly toxics. Poisoned for Profit not only brings readers into the lives of children, families, and communities beset by environmental poisons, it also poses solutions to eradicate this crime, and offers parents a practical guide to protecting their children from harm.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Powerful reporting backing powerful conclusions--it will make those of us with kids shudder, but hopefully it will also make us get out of our chairs and engage in the politics necessary to protect the future."--Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and Deep Economy

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603582568
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/30/2010
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 523,642
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip Shabecoff was the chief environmental correspondent for the New York Times for fourteen of the thirty-two years he worked there as a reporter. After leaving the Times, he founded and published Greenwire, an online daily digest of environmental news. He has appeared on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Washington Week in Review, CNN News, C-Span, National Public Radio, and the BBC. For his environmental writing, Shabecoff was selected as one of the Global 500 by the United Nations Environment Programme. He received the James Madison Award from the American Library Association for leadership in expanding the public's right to know. His previous books include A Fierce Green Fire: A History of the American Environmental Movement.

Alice Shabecoff is a freelance journalist focusing on family and consumer topics. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, and International Herald Tribune, among other publications. She was executive director of the National Consumers League, the country's oldest consumer organization, and executive director of the national nonprofit Community Information Exchange. Her previous books include A Guide to Careers in Community Development.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

1 Inquest 1

2 Indictment 12

3 Victims 22

4 Evidence 35

5 Scene of the Crime 65

6 Forensics 91

7 Perpetrators 123

8 Coconspirators 150

9 Witnesses for the Defense 169

10 Posse Comitatus 194

11 Values 215

12 Justice 230

Afterword 253

Appendix A How to Reduce Your Child's Risk and Change the Future 263

Appendix B Resources 281

Notes 289

Bibliography 339

Index 341

About the Authors 360

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 8, 2011

    Easily reaches the level of Wow

    Have you wondered why there seems to be an epidemic of serious childhood illnesses, like cancer, asthma and birth defects, in America? It has a lot to do with the huge increase, over the past 50 years, of toxic chemicals dumped into the environment. This book gives the details.

    There are a number of towns all over the country, ranging from Dickson, Tennessee, to Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to Toms River, New Jersey, suffering much higher than normal numbers of severe childhood illnesses. Each town just happens to also contain a large industrial plant that handles lots of toxic chemicals. Are the illnesses all "isolated instances" or "just one of those things?"

    The authors say that the CEOs of the major chemical companies are not evil people who deliberately want to poison innocent children, but profit is most important. It is very hard to prove, absolutely, that a particular case of asthma or cancer, for instance, was caused by chemicals from a particular industrial plant, though the circumstantial evidence is pretty strong. The chemical companies use that uncertainty to delay the paying of any fines or cleanup costs.

    Scientists-for-pay are willing to say what the chemical companies want them to say. The evidence is not conclusive and more study (read: delay) is needed. Washington is no help. Through lobbyists and campaign contributions, it has been made clear to members of Congress that bills to add new regulations are to be watered down or defeated. Only a few of the thousands of chemicals in the environment have been tested at all. Those tests have been very short-term, and have looked at adult exposure to chemicals. The level of toxicity for children and fetuses is much lower.

    What can a parent do? If you plan on having children in the future, adopt a healthy lifestyle. Get proper amounts of vitamins and minerals, starting today (men and women). If you already have children, let them play outside and open the windows in your house for at least a few minutes a day (to let out any built-up toxins). Stay away from pesticides and dry cleaning, buy organic food as much as possible, buy furniture and flooring made from solid wood instead of particleboard, which is treated with formaldehyde. There are also plenty of websites to visit with safer alternatives to everyday items.

    This book easily reaches the level of Wow. It is very easy to read, and is quite an eye-opener for all parents and parents-to-be. This is highly recommended.

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