Toxin Toxout | Reviews




“A powerful reminder that what we do to Mother Earth, we do directly to ourselves. Read it to see why we have to change the way we live and get off our destructive path.” David Suzuki

“A fascinating and frightening read. . . . Slow Death by Rubber Duck is an important and timely antidote.” The Globe and Mail

“Using narrative, humour and real life scenarios, Slow Death By Rubber Duck has restored my faith in the environmental movement’s ability to make compelling points about toxins in our world, without beating us to death with a wagging finger.”

“Indispensable and unputdownable, Smith and Lourie take our—and their—toxic temperature. As scary as it all is, the really surprising part is how easily we can start cleaning up our act.”
Ann-Marie MacDonaldauthor of  The Way the Crow Flies and Fall On Your Knees

“The latest green lit bible.” Toronto Life

“Fascinating read! . . . Alarming, engrossing and just plain loony at times, their experiments drive home just how mundanely day-to-day our mass chemical poisoning has become.” Adria Vasil, author of  Ecoholic

“Shows how easy it can be to detoxify. Smith and Lourie explore how much we are exposed and provide attainable solutions to protecting ourselves.”  Zoomer magazine

“A call to action for both governments and all Canadian citizens, but especially for us mothers, who are necessary for real social change.” Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau

Slow Death . . . gives a passionate survey of the argument. I read it and threw out my Teflon frying pans.” The Lawyers Weekly

“What really stands out is the solid writing. Though chock-full of Canadian and international statistics, the book never sounds preachy or dense. Considering how undeniably depressing their findings are, the authors manage to stay this side of apocalyptic without sounding flippant. Not only is the book scary, it’s hard to put down. . . . Excellent.” Quill & Quire

“Open this book and you’ll never look at a rubber duck the same way again. . . . The success of Slow Death is that it goes beyond scare tactics to solutions that we can all apply to our daily lives.” Green Living

“One of the best-named books of all time.” The Huffington Post



“Beware the smiling creature in your bathtub: it’s yellow, it squeaks, your kids love it, and it gets into your bloodstream-literally.” High Country News


“Undertaking a cheeky experiment in self-contamination, professional Canadian environmentalists Smith and Lourie expose themselves to hazardous everyday substances, then measure the consequences… Throughout, the duo weave scientific data and recent political history into an amusing but unnerving narrative, refusing to sugarcoat any of the data (though protection is possible, exposure is inevitable) while maintaining a welcome sense of humor.” Publishers Weekly (Starred review)

Slow Death by Rubber Duck’s real achievement is in documenting how chemical giants stay a step ahead of regulators, and those revelations make the book ‘a fascinating and frightening read.’” The Week

Slow Death by Rubber Duck isn’t just alarmist environmental shock and awe. It’s a thoughtful look at how pollution has shifted over the years from something tangible and transparent (industrial pollutants as the cause of acid rain) to something abstract and nuanced (BPA’s links to breast cancer). The challenges this change presents, as many of the world’s top scientists explain in these pages, should be of serious concern to us all.” O – The Oprah Magazine

Slow Death by Rubber Duck is hard-hitting in a way that turns your stomach and yet also instills hope for a future in which consumers make safer, more informed choices and push their governments to impose tougher regulations on the chemicals all around us.” Washington Post

“This is one scary book. Using a variety of test methods, the authors determined individual “body burdens,” or the toxic chemical load we carry. The innocuous rubber duck, for example, offers a poison soup of phthalates that “permeate the environment and humans.” From other products and food we also have a collection of chemicals shorthanded as PFCs, PFOAs, PSOSs, and PCBs. None of them are good, and they are everywhere, thanks to Teflon (which drew the largest administrative penalty against a company ever obtained by the EPA), Stainmaster, nonflammable pajamas, tuna (hello, mercury), and, would you believe, anti-bacterial products. The legacy of our chemically addicted society is not just all around us but also inside us and it is killing us, as the Teflon case proved. (Workers in West Virginia believed that “having a high-paying job often meant getting sick,” and many were reluctant to sue and possibly scare DuPont away.) Poised between chirpy green-living manuals and dense academic papers, Smith and Lourie have crafted a true guide for the thinking consumer. If readers don’t change their ways after reading this one, then they never will.” Colleen Mondor, The Booklist

“Fantastically important—an indispensable guide to surviving in an industrial age.” Tim Flannery, author of Now or Never and The Weather Makers

“Did you know that cancer, infertility and even being fat may be linked to trace toxins we swallow every day? I wish this book were science fction . . . but it’s not. Let Smith and Lourie show you simple steps to help you go from guinea pig to protector of your family’s health.”

Harvey Karp, MD, FAAP, creator of the book/DVD, The Happiest Toddler on the Block

“If Hunter S. Thompson were locked in an analytical chemistry lab with a phlebotomist, this book might be the result. Slow Death by Rubber Duck is heartbreaking, funny, and knowledgeable all on the same page. The authors have also launched a new field of study: gonzo toxicology. Well done!” Sandra Steingraber, biologist and author of Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment

“This book is an important wake up call for every mom and dad unaware of the ticking toxic timebomb that’s been lurking in our children’s toy chests, schools, and homes for years. From toxic PVC rubber duckies loaded with dangerous phthalates to BPA-contaminated baby bottles, Slow Death by Rubber Duck paints a sobering picture of the many harmful chemicals that pervade our homes, bodies, and communities, but more importantly lays out easy steps we can all take for building a healthier toxic-free future for our families and environment.” Lois Gibbs, Executive Director, Center for Health, Environment & Justice, and organizer of the Love Canal Homeowners Association


Australia and New Zealand

“In the self-sacrificing spirit of Super Size Me creator Morgan Spurlock, environmental scientists Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie have subjected their bodies to some of the most harmful, yet common, chemicals found in everyday products…The results walk the strange line between hilarious and alarming...Slow Death by Rubber Duck isn’t deliberately fear mongering, unlike so many other books of this genre – it’s timely, disturbing and an unexpectedly entertaining gyide to what doesn’t belong in our bodies.” Cosmos magazine

“Benjamin Franklin’s assertion that nothing is certain except death and taxes was probably perfectly applicable in his day, but the Industrial Revolution has now advanced to the stage where some sort of formulation like “and having any number of toxins in your body” should be added. At least, this is the impression one is left with after putting down this account by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie…a useful book indeed” Canberra Times

“The results of Slow Death by Rubber Duck were comparable to Super Size Me – only invisible and far more harmful. After reading this book you will want to eliminate most plastics, scented body products and Teflon from your home.” Melbourne Sunday Age

“In the DIY tradition of Super Size Me, this duo used their bodies to test the effects of the household toxins we ingest through our skin, lungs and in our food. Shampoo, deodorants, air fresheners, toothpaste, flame retardants, the effects are compound and insidious. Only an ostrich could remain sanguine in the face of such a persuasive alarm.” Qantas

“The wonderfully titled Slow Death by Rubber Duck by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie is a sobering, enlightening and entertaining wake-up call by two Canadian authors and environmentalists who want to redefine the concept of pollution.” Queensland Sunday Mail and Sunday Telegraph

“Easy-to-read but deeply disturbing.” Subiaco Post

“Funny, thought-provoking and disturbing, Slow Death by Rubber Duck offers solutions for how we might be healthier, safer and more aware.” Adelaide Hills Weekender

“Fantastically important – an indispensable guide to surviving in an industrial age.” Tim Flannery

“This controversial work is a must-have for anyone interested in knowing about (and seeking to avoid) the toxic chemicals we encounter in our daily life.” Gleebooks Summer Catalogue 2009

“A sobering and thoughtful look at how our bodies are being polluted by toxic substances in our everyday life, and, more importantly, what we can do about it. It is a well written and accessible book by two of Canada’s leading environmental experts.” American Book Store Summer Reading Guide 2009