Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Body Toxic

New World Notes News
Vol. 4, No. 1 -- January 1, 2011

This week in New World Notes, radio program #148, January 4:

The Body Toxic

In brief

Journalist Nena Baker discusses the hazardous chemicals increasingly present in everyday products--pizza boxes, butcher paper, microwave popcorn bags, dental floss, tin cans, clothing, upholstery, you name it.

She focuses on a group of chemicals known as endocrine disrupters or hormone mimics. Examples include

  • bisphenol A (BPA)
  • PFOA
  • phthalates
  • brominated flame retardants (PBDEs)

These chemicals are doing serious harm to our bodies, and government agencies lack the power to regulate their use. There's some hope, though.

She spoke in Seattle on April 1, 2010.

Nena Baker and her book. An intact Teflon-like coating (PTFE) is bad enough, but the skillet on the book cover is scratched. And you worried about cholesterol from the egg! Most graphics: Click to enlarge.

Notes, credits, & links

Baker's talk is based on her recent book, The Body Toxic: How the Hazardous Chemistry of Everyday Things Threatens Our Health and Well-Being ( ).

I have slightly condensed the talk, which was originally broadcast on Mike McCormick's "Mind Over Matters" in Seattle. The uncut version is here. Thanks again to Mike.

New World Notes is produced under the auspices (Latin for "long-suffering sighs") of WWUH-FM, a community service of that beacon of light in darkest Connecticut, the University of Hartford.

You can listen to any installment of New World Notes online or else download it (as an mp3 audio file) for later listening. The show is archived at both and (from #90 onwards) The Internet Archive. Either link should get you a reverse-chrono listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page, and each page has links to the recorded audio.

Series overview: Political and social commentary in a variety of genres. Exploring the gap between what we want ... and what they're trying to make us settle for.

Top: The bag is coated with a perfluorinated compound, PFOA, which migrates into the food, esecially as it is heated.

Coming soon (Tuesday air debut date shown)

  • January 11 -- Helen Caldicott on the Three Global Crises
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