September 26, 2008

Book review: The Toxic Consumer: Living Healthy in a Hazardous World (Karen Ashton & Elizabeth Salter Green)

This book had potential to be a dry, boring text of chemical names, why those chemicals are bad for you, and how there was basically no way to avoid it.  Fortunately, that’s not what it is.

Instead, this is a straightforward text that, while rather technical at times, doesn’t require a chemistry degree to understand.  The Toxic Consumer discusses the top ten “worst” and most prevalent chemicals in our day to day lives and why they are bad for us, but it also tells you about alternatives to using products that contain those chemicals.  The book is well put together and approachable for the every day person, and it includes a list of resources for those wanting to know more.  The only disappointment is a lack of a web page connected to the book.  While the resources list gives a number of web pages, I was a little surprised that the authors didn’t think to set up a page of their own to address updates, expand on information in the book, and essentially act as a “clearinghouse” of information.  Considering how much we find out about our chemical load on an almost day to day basis, that lack almost makes the book seem incomplete.  Worth picking up, especially for parents trying to avoid loading up their children with chemicals that will have serious effects later in their lives.  Published by Sterling Publishing and available from your local, independent bookstore.

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