After years of prosecuting hard-core criminals, rising legal star Alan Bell took a private sector job in South Florida’s newest skyscraper. Suddenly, he suffered such bizarre medical symptoms, doctors suspected he’d been poisoned by the Mafia. Bell’s rapidly declining health forced him to flee his glamorous Miami life to a sterile “bubble” in the remote Arizona desert.
As his career and marriage dissolved, Bell pursued medical treatments in a race against time, hoping to stay alive and raise his young daughter, his one desperate reason to keep going. He eventually discovered he wasn’t poisoned by a criminal, but by his office building. His search for a cure led him to discover the horrifying truth: his tragedy was just the tip of the iceberg. Millions of people fall ill and die each year because of toxic chemical exposureswithout knowing they’re at risk.
Stunned by what he discovered, Bell chose to fight back, turning his plight into an opportunity. Despite his precarious health, he began collaborating with scientists dedicated to raising awareness about this issue. Soon, he also found himself drawn back into the legal field, teaming up with top lawyers fighting for those who had already fallen ill.
Both a riveting medical mystery and a cautionary tale, this book puts a human face on the hidden truths behind toxic dangers assaulting us in our everyday environmentsand offers practical ways to protect ourselves and our children.
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About the Author
Alan Bell is an attorney who prosecuted drug and homicide cases for the state of Florida before developing multiple chemical sensitivity. He is the founder of the Environmental Health Foundation, which advocates for victims of environmental injury. Alan lives in Capistrano Beach, California.
Jan Schlichtmann ’s groundbreaking work on behalf of people injured by environmental contamination and toxic products has received international recognition and spurred original work in scientific, medical, and legal journals and books. His representation of eight Woburn, Massachusetts, families against W.R. Grace and Beatrice Foods for the contamination of the city’s water supply was chronicled in the New York Times bestseller A Civil Action. He lives with his wife and three children in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
1 Trouble in the Tower 1
2 Lessons in the Courtroom 9
3 Family Life 21
4 The Doctor Shuffle 35
5 A Diagnosis without a Cure 47
6 Life on Mars 63
7 The Leper Colony 77
8 A Castle by the Sea 89
9 Finding My Purpose on a Mountaintop 103
10 Sad Good-byes 113
11 A Foundation Is Born 127
12 My Daughter Saves My Life 141
13 Reentering the World 153
14 From Survivor to Advocate 165
15 Chemicals Take Down a Football Coach 175
16 Black Mold Breaks a Mother's Heart 185
17 Pesticides Poison a Postal Worker 197
18 A Toxic Waste Dump Destroys a Neighborhood 211
Epilogue: Now What? 225
Appendix A How to Modify Your Lifestyle to Minimize Chemical Injury 241
Appendix B Recommended Reading 251
Appendix C An Online Resource Guide for Nontoxic Living 255
Appendix D My Foundation's Founding Scientific Advisory Board 257