The Non-Toxic Avenger: One woman's mission to reduce her toxic body burden

The Non-Toxic Avenger: One woman's mission to reduce her toxic body burden

by Deanna Duke


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Most of us turn a blind eye to the startling array of chemicals lurking in everything from shampoo to baby bottles to the money in our wallets, choosing to believe that government agencies ensure the safety of the products we wear, use, ingest, and breathe in daily. Yet the standards for product safety in North America lag far behind those of other countries. We frequently hear that a substance we've relied on for years turns out to have serious effects on our health, the environment, or both.

After coming to terms with the fact that the autism and cancer which had impacted her family were most likely the result of environmental toxins, author Deanna Duke undertook a mission to dramatically reduce her family's chemical exposure. She committed to drastically reducing the levels of all known chemicals in both her home and work environments, using the help of body burden testing to see what effect, if any, she was able to have on the level of toxins in her body.

Follow Deanna's journey as she uncovers how insidious and invasive environmental toxins are. Learn about your day-to-day chemical exposure, the implications for your health, and what you can do about it. And find out whether the author's quest is mission impossible, or whether she is ultimately able to improve her family's health by taking steps towards leading a chemical-free life.

Deanna L. Duke is an environmental writer, urban homesteader, and author of the highly acclaimed environmental blog The Crunchy Chicken.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780865716926
Publisher: New Society Publishers
Publication date: 11/29/2011
Edition description: Original
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Deanna Duke : is an environmental writer, urban homesteader, and author of the highly acclaimed environmental blog, The Crunchy Chicken ( The focus of her work is in educating others on environmental issues and explaining how she and her family have not only converted to a low-impact lifestyle, but also reduced their exposure to toxic chemicals in their home, work and school environments. In addition to her blog, Deanna also writes as an Expert Urban Homesteader for Mother Earth News Online and is the Personal Care Consultant for the eco-makeover television show, Mission: Sustainable.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Part 1 Laying It All Out 1

In the Beginning 1

Double Whammy 2

The bones of an 85-year-old 4

Trying to make sense of it all 6

The Non-Toxic Avenger 6

Lab testing 7

Deciding on the tests 8

Not getting ahead of myself 10

One more thing 11

Where did the bad stuff go? 15

Lab test snafus 16

What's so bad about a little lead? 17

Part 2 Getting Started 19

Clean air 19

Sparkles, jewels and dangly items 21

Seeing double 22

PVC-free dreams 23

What's that on your lunch tray? 26

Lice! 28

Keeping the chemo out of me 31

Of epidemic proportions 32

Foundations for autism 33

Cluing in on ADHD 34

Sticky situation 37

A frictionless surface 39

Coal tar cake with a side of Teflon 41

Falling for candles 45

Mammograms and mercury, oh my! 48

Part 3 The Baseline 53

Testing, testing, 1-2-3 53

Stinkout 55

Lead and water testing 57

Nail polish 58

It's the pits 60

Tapping the' tap water 63

Holy fluorosis, Batman! 66

Chlorine: It's not just for breakfast 66

Other junk 67

Filth filter 69

Clearing the air 70

Leafy indoor air purifier 74

Emma's birthday bash 77

Happy birthday! Here's your bra (.)(.) 81

Halloween 83

Pfucked by PFCs 86

Not-so-sweet dreams; 88

Getting down 92

Pining for pajamas 94

Avoiding Robespierre 96

Blow me 97

Licking the windowsills 103

Pure as the driven snow 104

Parabens and phthalates results 105

Halloween: What actually happened 113

Heavy metal lab results 115

Part 4 Adjusting to Non-toxic Living 123

Getting my drink on 123

Heating oil headaches 130

Teflon slip-up 132

Getting clean with grease 134

Bodywash brainwash 137

Deodorant part deux 138

Squeaky clean 140

Going zits up 142

Yellow gold 144

Makeup! 145

Lubed and lotioned 146

Blocking out the sun 150

Poos and don'ts 152

Goops and greases 153

In the land of the moldy 156

Exercising with toxins 160

Moles in my molehill 164

Going BPA bananas 166

Heating with PFCs 167

Dishwasher 168 .

Clean eating 170

Winter gardening 172

Watch out 173

Part 5 Going a Little Bonkers 177

Leaving the sanctuary 177

Stuck in the sink 180

Liplocked 182

Laminated turkeys 183

Snow and toothpaste 184

Missing labs 186

Cancer update 186

Thanksgiving 188

Holiday lighting 189

Off-gassing chess set 192

Oh! Christmas tree 193

Getting orthopedic 195

CFLs and dirty electricity 196

Happy pits 200

Getting bloody 201

Getting sick from medications 202

Washing it all away 203

Coffee log 205

The not-so-sen yoga mat 206

Body art 207

Tingle time 209

Lab results unearthed! 211

Throw your watch away 215

Getting faked out 216

Dirty money 218

Unscented scent 219

Non-toxic Christmas gifts 220

Trying to keep it all straight 220

Part 6 Figuring it All Out 223

Kissed by the sun 223

Apple of my eye 226

Flooding with pineapples 228

Pine poisoning 230

Numbness and pain: Part deux 231

Talking about the detox 232

The high cost of organics 236

The moment of truth: XRF analyzer 238

Lab results reckoning 241

Final health updates 245

Part 7 Wrapping It Up 249

It was the best of times 249

It was the worst of times 251

What does it all even mean? 252

Additional Resources

Notes 254

Index 265

About the Author 277

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