Are hidden poisons polluting your house?
Bruce Lourie, co-author of "Slow Death By Rubber Duck," turned himself into a human guinea pig to discover how dangerous the everyday products we all have really are.
His top five findings:
1. Tuna tops my list: A seemingly harmless tuna sandwich, consumed with some frequency, contains enough of a dose of neuron-toxic mercury to harm a child. I ate a few tuna meals and measured the levels in my blood and my mercury levels nearly tripled, sending me into EPA's unsafe range.
2. Baby bottles made from Bisphenol A: BPA is now in the news as studies increasingly point to health concerns of this endocrine disrupting chemical. Newly published research suggests that exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) during pregnancy leads to epigenetic changes that may cause permanent reproduction problems for female offspring. My co-author drank hot coffee from his son's baby bottle — nipple removed — he hastens to add.
3. The rubber ducky: What could seem more harmless than Bert and Ernie playing in the bath tub? Yet these fraudulent vinyl duckies (they're not rubber) have a host of chemicals, including phthalates, that mimic our hormones and cause concern for children.
4. The non-stick pan: Does it make sense that we cook our food in a substance that, when heated, releases enough toxic fumes to kill a pet bird? "Teflon toxicosis" it's called.
5. The fragrant shampoos: We all love smelling like a tropical rain forest when we step out of the shower but highly fragrant personal care products are laced with phthalates. Yes, the chemical that makes ducks rubbery helps make our shampoos fragrant.