Unprecedented Human Testing Demonstrates Impact of Pollutants found in Consumer Products

    Tests reveal dramatic increase in levels of toxins in blood and urine

    TORONTO, May 10 /CNW/ - Experimental test results to be released tomorrow
in the new book "Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of
Everyday Life Affects our Health" show dramatic and immediate increases in
blood and urine levels of harmful toxins in response to everyday activities
and common consumer products.
    Tests conducted focused on common chemicals that are associated with a
variety of health effects, including cancer, reproductive and developmental
harm and learning disabilities. Surprising results outlined in the book

    -   levels of phthalates increased by as much as 22 times after those
        tested used common, brand name personal care products. Phthalates are
        plasticizing chemicals that have been linked to abnormal reproductive

    -   levels of mercury increased by 2.5 times after test subjects ate
        tuna. Mercury is a known neurotoxin and is harmful to children's

    -   levels of bisphenol A increased 7.5 times after eating canned foods
        out of a microwavable, polycarbonate plastic container. Bisphenol A
        is a known hormone-disrupting chemical linked to breast and prostate

    -   levels of triclosan increased an astounding 2,900 times through the
        use of anti-bacterial soaps and other personal care products.
        Triclosan is the active ingredient in many anti-bacterial products
        linked to the increase of bacterial resistance.

    "These results demonstrate that through making careful choices as
consumers Canadians can achieve dramatic and rapid reductions in the levels of
pollution in their own bodies, and those of their children, almost
immediately," said Dr. Rick Smith, co-author of the book and Executive
Director of Environmental Defence. "The results also reveal, however, that the
only really complete solution to this problem is government leadership. Though
it's possible to reduce their levels, these toxins are too widespread to be
completely eliminated from the body."
    Dr. Smith, and co-author Bruce Lourie, will be discussing the test
results this month during a book tour, with stops in Toronto (May 11),
Montreal (May 12), Ottawa (May 13), Vancouver (May 19) and Calgary (May 20).
    More information about Slow Death by Rubber Duck is available online at

    About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental
Defence protects the environment and human health. We research solutions. We
educate. We go to court when we have to. All in order to ensure clean air,
clean water and thriving ecosystems nationwide, and to bring a halt to
Canada's contribution to climate change.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232, (647)
280-9521 (cell)

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