The Case of the Killer Rubber Duck

During a recent visit to, I stumbled upon a potentially interesting book. The title is one of those "grab you by the shirt collar and look at me" type titles, so I am assuming the rest of the book will be equally interesting. Although, the adage "don't judge a book by its cover" comes to mind.

Anyhow, the book in question is "Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects Our Health," by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come out until January 2010. But the synopsis provides some insight into the nature of the book.

"Key concerns raised in Slow Death by Rubber Duck:
• Flame-retardant chemicals from electronics and household dust polluting our blood.
• Toxins in our urine caused by leaching from plastics and run-of-the-mill shampoos, toothpastes and deodorant.
• Mercury in our blood from eating tuna.
• The chemicals that build up in our body when carpets and upholstery off-gas."

My husband and I often debate the merits of such claims. Yes, it is true that there are risks, dangers and toxins all around us. But my husband insists that his years growing up on an Arabian horse farm have made him immune to the common cold and flu.  While that may be the case (or coincidence), it also may be the reason that his olfactory system isn't what it should be. After all, being surrounded by noxious fumes that are typical of a horse farm have to have some sort of effect. At the very least, if you're in a stinky environment long enough your body may adapt and take away your keen sense of smell.

My questions to you: Does your company engage in long-term testing of its products? And do you think your company's products may end up in this book?

Traci Purdum
Senior Digital Editor


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  • <p>Parthasarathi Subramanian:</p> <p>What you posted in the blog is happening in most industries. In India many small scale chemical production industries as practicing with out any precautions.</p> <p>Industries are doing business and making money. They are eager to earn as soon as possible.</p> <p>Definitely we can add the company in that book. </p>


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