Reducing Harmful Chemicals with “Toxin Toxout”

Written by Denise Deby.


You already know that many of the soaps, cosmetics, food containers, cleaning products, furniture and other household and consumer items we use are full of substances that aren’t healthy for us or the environment. Phthalates, parabens, pesticides, lead—a reported 80,000 synthetic chemicals are found in the food and products we buy, and in our bodies.

Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith have investigated these chemicals and their harmful effects. Not content just to research the topic, Smith and Lourie subjected themselves to toxins to see how easily these enter our bodies, and wrote about their experiences in Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects Our Health (2010).

Now they’ve gone a step further by looking into what’s being done to reduce harmful chemicals in products, and options for “detoxing” to decrease the toxins in our homes and ourselves. Again they offered themselves up as human subjects, and have written Toxin Toxout: Getting Harmful Chemicals Out of Our Bodies and Our World (Knopf Canada, 2013).

The book is reported to be a humorous and sobering look at what we can do to protect our health, our children’s health and our environment. It’s also a glimpse into how to build an economy that’s not dependent on polluting ourselves and our surroundings. (Rick Smith provides a perspective on that here.)

As well as being environmental thinkers and authors, Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith are otherwise active: Smith is executive director of the Broadbent Institute, and Lourie has led numerous non-profit and for-profit organizations.

They’ll both be on hand for the Ottawa launch of Toxin Toxout on Thursday, January 16, 2013 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Social Restaurant + Lounge, 537 Sussex Dr. You can RSVP on Facebook or by email at cleblanc [at] broadbentinstitute [dot] ca.

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