Rated Reads

Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things

by Rick Smith

Rated: None

and by Bruce Lourie

This book presents a cautionary view of the chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis. The authors set the premise that we are usually ignorant of what compounds we take into our bodies, and are further unaware of the potential harm such exposure can cause — both in the short and long term. Each chapter provides detail about a different group of chemicals that we probably encounter regularly, outlines the scientific studies performed, and explains the results in terms of how they could affect you. The book is certainly not an attempt to provide an objective analysis — the authors very openly admit they support governmental limits and bans on these chemicals, and further detail the lengths they go to in order to organize support at rallies and other political functions.

I found the book interesting, though the terminology is fairly scientific in nature, and the reader will want to be comfortable plowing through long chemical names and explanations of scientific studies that have been performed. These sections are balanced with narratives that help keep the book moving along at least a little more quickly. The authors explain several experiments they performed on themselves in efforts to elevate and measure their own exposure levels to certain compounds. Those parts seemed a little bizarre and only very loosely based on correct scientific experimental procedures. I realize they were just trying to strengthen their point, but I didn’t find that information convincing. Other parts were very enjoyable and much more persuasive, and on the whole I found the book to be informative and thought-provoking.

Rated: None. I didn’t note anything that would be deemed offensive or inappropriate for a general audience.

— Reviewed by Bryce Robbins

Bryce Robbins is a senior operations admin at a mutual fund company. He balances his reading load between business topics and new fiction, with a smattering of biography if he can find some he likes. You can find out more about him on LinkedIn. He currently resides in Mission Viejo, Calif., with his wife, daughter, and two cats.

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  • Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things
  • by Rick Smith
  • Rated: None
  • Genre: Nonfiction
  • Reviewer: