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What's Gotten into Us?: Staying Healthy in a Toxic World Hardcover – April 19, 2011
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Praise for What's Gotten Into Us?
“The landscape of health has changed. When you look at the increases in the rates of cancer, diabetes, obesity, allergies and autism, the statistics are numbing. But epidemics don’t have genetic causes, they have environmental ones. And today, as McKay Jenkins details in What’s Gotten Into Us?, some of the greatest threats to our health aren’t found in our DNA, but in our food supply and environment. This book is jam-packed with information and is not only an invaluable resource for those interested in protecting their loved ones, but a sound investment and a book that will pay health dividends for a lifetime.”
– Robyn O’Brien, author of The Unhealthy Truth and founder of AllergyKids Foundation
"All of us long for answers on how to navigate our perilous chemical world. You could not find a better guide in exploring such important questions than What's Gotten into Us. In this wonderfully readable journey of a book, McKay Jenkins illuminates not only the science of everyday toxic compounds but the best ways to manage them in everyday life. Read it and keep it. You'll be glad you did."
Deborah Blum, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine
in Jazz Age New York
“McKay Jenkins allows the discovery of a tumor in his left hip to lead him – and us – into the world of failed chemical regulations. What's Gotten Into Us? is a story of unflinching courage combined with hardheaded research. It's chock full of suspense… and footnotes, too. Be warned: the answer to the title's question will almost certainly amaze you – and may just send you to the barricades.”
– Sandra Steingraber, author of Living Downstream: An Ecologist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment
“What's Gotten Into Us delivers a scary punch. The everyday environment of American life is seething with little-understood and sometimes demonstrably dangerous chemical compounds—weird stuff that's crept into all our bodies, whether we know it or not. And we don't know what it does or could do to us. A nice piece of work, a Silent Spring for the human body.”
– Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone
"In this serious exposé that is surprisingly entertaining and positive, Jenkins uncovers the ubiquity and danger of [everyday] chemicals and offers some solutions, both personal and political..." -Publisher's Weekly, starred review
About the Author
McKay Jenkins holds degrees from Amherst College, Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, and Princeton, where he received a Ph.D. in English. He is the author of The Last Ridge, The White Death, and Bloody Falls of the Coppermine. The Cornelius A. Tilghman Professor of English and director of journalism at the University of Delaware, Jenkins lives with his family in Baltimore.
Top customer reviews
We are the unwitting guinea pigs for newly introduced pathogens and pollutants released by the chemical, pharmaceutical and energy industries, which profit at the expense of our health. When efforts are made to control or rein in their practices, their legal departments launch false and misleading advertising campaigns, in addition to using powerful lobbies to influence politicians to obstruct legislation that would limit or end the harm they are inflicting upon us. Industry's response is denial, denial, denial, defending the right to pollute and poison in the name of free enterprise. The saddest aspect of this deplorable situation is that most Americans are not even aware of the terrible toll exacted frin our health and our environment until disaster strikes, in the form of illness or destruction.
This book has the potential to make activists of all its readers.
An extremely valuable addition to anyones library who is looking to walk the planet with awareness of their environment while remaining hopeful.
McKay Jenkins is far from a hysterical tree-hugger. He is a professor and journalist who had a cancer scare and decided that it was time to figure out how to stay healthy in a world filled with man-made poisons. It turns out that this is no easy task. The government agencies whose mission it is to oversee our environment are understaffed and underfunded; chemical companies donate large amounts of money to campaign funds and do everything in their power to defeat legislation that could negatively affect their bottom line; factory owners would rather pay minuscule fines than clean up their messes; and the United States continues to import many goods from the Far East that are not screened carefully enough for lead, bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, and a whole host of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can potentially harm us. Americans have reason to wonder why our leaders lag behind those in Europe who have passed REACH legislation that gives them tighter control over 30,000 chemicals currently in use. Although oversight costs money, "these costs would be recouped many times over in reduced illnesses from chemical exposure...."
Jenkins's prose is clear and polished. He provides eye-opening anecdotes, pertinent statistics, and useful ideas about what we can do to reverse the damage. "What's Gotten into Us?" is a well-organized, extensively documented, and provocative work of non-fiction that should be required reading for anyone who cares about his well-being and the future of our planet. This book will make you think twice before you reach for that aerosol air freshener, plan your home remodeling project, apply body lotion, purchase pajamas for your toddler, sip a bottle of water, or spray your garden. As Matt Belliveau of Maine's Environmental Health Strategy Center says, "What's important is that the safety system has been badly broken." It is up to us and our representatives to make sure that it is fixed as soon as possible.
Most recent customer reviews
also to help educate elderly parents or any family or friends.