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CureZone > Books > Toxic Deception: How the Chemical Industry Manipulates Science, Bends the Law, and Endangers Your Health by Dan Fagin

Toxic Deception: How the Chemical Industry Manipulates Science, Bends the Law, and Endangers Your Health
by Dan Fagin [edit]

Toxic Deception: How the Chemical Industry Manipulates Science, Bends the Law, and Endangers Your Health
********** 10 Stars!
Price: US$ 17.95, Available worldwide on
Check Availability from: Canada or from United Kingdom
ISBN: 1559723858


From Booklist
Fagin and other investigative reporters, with funding by the Center for Public Integrity, show chemical companies successfully working to keep known health threats profitably on the market. The authors suggest one industry method for prosperity: nearly half the top officials who left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the last 15 years now work for these companies, directly or indirectly--which might explain why the industry is essentially responsible for testing the toxic effects of its own chemicals and then reporting the results to the EPA. The authors find numerous discrepancies between the work of industry and that of independent scientists. Chemical companies also resort to obfuscation, lawsuits both threatened and real, propaganda, and borderline fraud. The result is that their products continue to contaminate our air, water, and food. And those pro-environmental television commercials these companies sponsor? After reading this book, many viewers will never take them seriously again. Brian McCombie

Peter Montague, Rachel's Environment and Health Weekly, July 11, 1997, about first edition
"...describes the nearly complete failure of all our attempts to regulate the behavior of the chemical corporations.... Even those of us who study chemicals and health full-time have never put all the pieces together the way these two have." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Two investigative journalists document how the chemical industry in America has used its financial power to circumvent government regulation, keep dangerous products on the market, and taint research to further their business.

About the Author
Dan Fagin is the environmental writer for Newsday and was a 1994 Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is adjunct professor of environmental journalism at New York University.

Marianne Lavelle is a senior editor at U.S. News and World Report, and is a recipient of the Polk Award. The Center for Public Integrity is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization well-known for its exposs of corruption in Washington. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description
Dry cleaning, particleboard, plywood, permanent press fabrics, many popular detergents and common pesticides are all hazardous to human health-that means toxins in your food, your water, your clothes, and your walls. In Toxic Deception, prize-winning investigative journalists Dan Fagin and Marianne Lavelle and the Center for Public Integrity bring you a stunning expos of the secretive world of the chemical giants.

Why do corporations keep harmful products on the market even when safer, cheaper alternatives are available? Consider these corporate crimes:

Secret industry documents and internal records of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prove that the chemical industry twists scientific studies to mislead the public and play down the dangers of its products, while the EPA stands by.

The EPA usually bases its regulations on safety tests run, directly or indirectly, by the very companies the agency is meant to keep watch on.

Fagin and Lavelle back up their investigations with analysis of a range of scientific studies and, chillingly, the stories of families whose lives have been devastated by toxic products they thought were harmless. The book also explains how you can reduce your own risk and help to revitalize a dying system of health and safety laws.

A book every American should read, November 30, 2001
Reviewer: A reader

If you've ever wondered why the public health system in this country is a mess, this book will show you. Basically, the burden of proof to demonstrate that a given chemical is harmful is on the victims or the underfunded EPA, who often, for both financial and legal reasons, have to depend on tests and information given by the chemical companies themselves. If that's not the fox guarding the henhouse then I don't know what is.
The book examines in depth four chemicals : atrazine and alachlor (both pesticides), perchloroethylene (used in dry cleaning), and formaldehyde, which is used in many products, particularly wood-related ones. The companies that make these products include some of the largest and most powerful corporations in the world including du Pont, Monsanto, Ciba-Geigy, Dow Chemical, Borden (yes, Elsie the cow is poisoning you) and Georgia-Pacific. They have armies of lawyers. They have many scientists working directly for them, and many others in academia working indirectly through studies that they fund. They also have bigtime PR firms who hammer home the message that (to quote the title of a related book) Toxic Sludge is Good for You.
Even in the few cases where a chemical actually is banned, the taxpayer then has to make up the difference. We can all be poisoned but heaven forbid that one of these huge corporations should lose a little profit !

informative, August 15, 2001
Reviewer: A reader

McLachlan 1996 paper was retracted and the 1st edition was written prior to the retraction.

Very informative on how the EPA works (or doesn't work) and the tactics used by the Chemical companies to mislead.

The precedent established in this book about how Monsanto (Pharmacia) and Zeneca (now Syngenta) act and their lack of concern for people should be kept in mind during the discussion of GMO foods where Monsanto and Syngenta are prime movers.

The book was informative, however, I would check out a copy at the library instead of buying.

Muckraking is not (totally) dead!, April 13, 1999
Reviewer: A reader (Washington DC)

This is a great book, telling the reader how and why the EPA, the supposed bane of industry, has become toothless in the face of organized opposition (and co-optation) from the industries themselves. Four chemicals, including the drycleaning chemical "perc", formaldehyde, and two pesticides, are followed through the EPA maze, with fascinating diversions to corporate lawfirms, PR flacks, and financial records, until the reader discovers why these dangerous chemicals are not properly regulated. Anyone who understands math knows the EPA will never adequately test the millions of chemicals now in existence--now find out the politics that explain why they can't even properly test or regulate some of the most dangerous ones in common use all over the USA. An eye-opener!

Dan Fagin


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