In this shocking and sobering book, two fearless journalists
directly and definitively link industrial toxins to the current
rise in childhood disease and death. In the tradition of Silent
Spring, "Poisoned Profits" is a landmark investigation, an
eye-opening account of a country that prizes money over children's
With indisputable data, Philip Shabecoff and Alice Shabecoff reveal
that the children of baby boomers-the first to be raised in a truly
"toxified" world-have higher rates of birth defects, asthma,
cancer, autism, and other serious illnesses than previous
generations. In piercing case histories, the authors identify the
culprit as corporate pollution. Here are the stories of such places
as Dickson, Tennessee, where babies were born with cleft lips and
palates after landfill chemicals seeped into the water, and Port
Neches, Texas, where so many graduates of a high school near
synthetic rubber and chemical plants contracted cancer that the
school was nicknamed "Leukemia High."
The danger to our children isn't just in the outside world, though.
The Shabecoffs provide evidence that our homes are now infested
with everything from dangerous flame retardants in crib mattresses
to harmful plastic softeners in teething rings to antibiotics and
arsenic in chicken-additives that are absorbed by growing and
physically vulnerable kids as well as by pregnant women.
Compounding the problem are chemical corporations that sabotage
investigations and regulations, a government that refuses to police
these companies, and corporate-hired scientists who keep pertinent
secrets massaged with skewed data of their own.
"Poisoned Profits "also demonstrates how people are fighting back,
whether through grassroots parents' groups putting pressure on
politicians, the rise of "ecotheology" in the pulpits of formerly
indifferent churches, or the new "green chemistry" being practiced
in labs to replace bad elements with good. The Shabecoffs also
include helpful tips on reducing risks to children in how they eat
and play, and in how parents clean and maintain their homes.
Powerful, unflinching, and eminently readable, "Poisoned Profits"
is a wake-up call that is bound to inspire talk and force change.
"From the Hardcover edition."
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