Toronto – Experimental test results to be released tomorrow in the new book “Slow Death by Rubber Duck:  How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects our Health” show dramatic and immediate increases in blood and urine levels of harmful toxins in response to everyday activities and common consumer products.

Tests conducted focused on common chemicals that are associated with a variety of health effects, including cancer, reproductive and developmental harm and learning disabilities.  Surprising results outlined in the book include:

• levels of phthalates increased by as much as 22 times after those tested used common, brand name personal care products. Phthalates are plasticizing chemicals that have been linked to abnormal reproductive development.
• levels of mercury increased by 2.5 times after test subjects ate tuna. Mercury is a known neurotoxin and is harmful to children’s development.
• levels of bisphenol A increased 7.5 times after eating canned foods out of a microwavable, polycarbonate plastic container. Bisphenol A is a known hormone-disrupting chemical linked to breast and prostate cancer.
• levels of triclosan increased an astounding 2,900 times through the use of anti-bacterial soaps and other personal care products. Triclosan is the active ingredient in many anti-bacterial products linked to the increase of bacterial resistance.

“These results demonstrate that through making careful choices as consumers Canadians can achieve dramatic and rapid reductions in the levels of pollution in their own bodies, and those of their children, almost immediately,” said Dr. Rick Smith, co-author of the book and Executive Director of Environmental Defence. “The results also reveal, however, that the only really complete solution to this problem is government leadership.   Though it’s possible to reduce their levels, these toxins are too widespread to be completely eliminated from the body.”

Dr. Smith, and co-author Bruce Lourie, will be discussing the test results this month during a book tour, with stops in Toronto (May 11), Montreal (May 12), Ottawa (May 13), Vancouver (May 19) and Calgary (May 20).
 
More information about Slow Death by Rubber Duck is available online at www.slowdeathbyrubberduck.com. 
 
About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence protects the environment and human health. We research solutions. We educate. We go to court when we have to. All in order to ensure clean air, clean water and thriving ecosystems nationwide, and to bring a halt to Canada’s contribution to climate change.
 
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For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)