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Book Review: Pick Your Poison: How Our Mad Dash To Chemical Utopia Is Making Lab Rats of Us All by Monona Rossol

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About the author

Monona Rossol, an industrial hygienist, divides her time between inspecting work sites, training workers, and delivering expert testimony in court cases involving chemical exposure. She is the President and founder of Arts, Crafts and Theater Safety, Inc., and a regular guest on the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC. She has lectured and consulted in the United States, Canada, Australia, England, Mexico, and Portugal.

Book Review:

Whoa. This is one seriously scary book. Rossol talks about several issues she’s had first had experience with in regards to toxic chemicals and safety. She fell into the safety aspects of art due to her background in chemistry and seeing how artists were dealing with toxic chemicals without safety standards. She states that basically every person in the world has been exposed to hundreds of chemicals and due to lack of medical study we do not know what their effects will be in our bodies. For example, asbestos was commonly used in buildings until it was proven that people exposed to asbestos would contract terminal illnesses. But it still took a long time to for people to stop using asbestos and to ban its use. The first documented death due to asbestos exposure was in 1906 but it was not banned entirely until 2003. Although this book is well researched I had a hard time getting through this book due to all the jargon that Rossol uses. Also, Rossol’s tone in this book is really quite pessimistic. I can understand her frustration that people are still using toxic chemicals in inappropriate ways. However I don’t think this was conducive to getting her point across in the book. The average person (like me) would just get terrified after reading this book and immediately want to get tested for everything under the sun. I don’t think panic is a good reaction to provoke in readers. You would want the reader to become thoughtful about the issues you present so that they would want to act, but not run screaming from your book. The tips that Rossol presents near the end of the book were too generic. I’ve read other books with better tips on eliminating toxic chemicals from your personal hygiene.

Rating: 2/5

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Author: Hazel

Unrepentant blogger of eco beauty, fashion and info living in Toronto, Canada. Blogging and reviews about eco-friendly organic brands, beauty, fashion, cosmetics, skincare, haircare, body care, DIY recipes, home, wellness, and lifestyle products that are available in Canada.

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