The Book
Poisoned for Profit - How Toxins Are Making Our Children Chronically Ill

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Chelsea Green Publishing
May 2010
ISBN 978-1603582568

POISONED FOR PROFIT is an updated and expanded version of POISONED PROFITS, first published in hard cover in 2008.  It includes significant political, economic and scientific developments since then, an Afterword that discusses what those developments mean, and new resources for parents.

“Painstakingly researched and incontrovertible... This should become an elemental text for all of us who wish to protect ourselves, and should be required reading for those who claim to be public servants.”

— Peter Matthiessen, author of The Snow Leopard

“Into an arena filled with confusing claims and counterclaims, Philip and Alice Shabecoff have now brought their remarkable journalistic skills, providing us with a clear-headed, accurate assessment of the toxic threat to America’s children. Poisoned Profits is a highly readable indictment so powerful it may finally force action. We have needed this book; now at last we have it.”

— James Gustave Speth, author of The Bridge at the Edge of the World, and Dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

“Powerful reporting backing powerful conclusions--it will make those of us with kids shudder, but hopefully it will also make us get out of our chairs and engage in the politics necessary to protect the future.”

— Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and Deep Economy

“Brilliant. . . Every parent in America owes a debt of gratitude to Philip and Alice Shabecoff. Poisoned for Profit should be high on the president’s reading list.”

— Barry Commoner, senior scientist and emeritus director, Center for Biology of Natural Sytems, Queens College

“A sober and sobering account by two deeply experienced journalists. . . This is essential reading for all who care about children, families, and America’s future.”

— Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MS, professor and chair, Department of Community and Preventative Medicine, professor of pediatrics, and director, Children’s Environmental Health Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

 

"A new book explains why you’re more likely to go to jail for stealing a DVD than for poisoning a town."
Read the entire review

—Peter Dykstra, former executive producer of CNN's Science, Tech and Weather Unit

 

"Structured like a criminal trial, Poisoned for Profit proceeds methodically and patiently, building a formidable case. I found it difficult to argue with the avalanche of numbers provided by the authors, who share an extensive background in environmental issues...Their expertise informs every exhaustively researched sentence."
Read the entire review

—Boston Globe, November 24, 2008

 

"Written in highly readable prose, the book critically examines why some of these chemicals have not been regulated in America and enumerates cases where companies settled with affected families out of court, paying off the families in exchange for 'no fault' clauses."
Read the entire review

—Science News, October 24, 2008

 

"An increasingly vast body of evidence shows that some chronic conditions such as birth defects, cancers, and developmental disorders among children are linked to the poisons that are dumped into the food children eat, the water they drink, and the air they breathe. Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of many chemicals, but industrial chemicals are rarely tested for health and safety before sale. Although many birth defects, cancers, and developmental disorders are preventable, neither government nor industry is taking the steps needed to prevent them. In their new book, Philip and Alice Shabecoff argue convincingly that this is a scandal and a crime...The jury is still out on whether the public will demand effective changes in environmental policy and corporate practices that permit the increasing level of toxicity in our society. After reading this well-documented and accessible analysis, which exposes the American institutions' willingness to ignore science and public health in favor of protecting corporations' rising profit rates, many will be roused to action."
Read the entire review

— Ruth A. Etzel is with the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. She is the editor of Pediatric Environmental Health, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

"In Poisoned for Profit: How Toxins Are Making Our Children Chronically Ill, veteran journalists Philip and Alice Shabecoff focus on a particularly troubling biological fact: that the younger we are, the more vulnerable we can be to chemical impacts."
Read the entire review

—SFGate, San Francisco Chronicle , October 12, 2008

 

"Pros: The authors aren't afraid to 'out' elected officials who sell out to big business. Equally important, they end the book on a high note with pages full of reference materials and Web sites showing consumers how to protect themselves and voice their 'collective outrage' about hazardous substances.
Cons: None.
Final word: This well-documented, highly readable page-turner contains shockingly important information critical to the health of families."
Read the entire review

— Rocky Mountain News, August 21, 2008

 

"Poisoned for Profit chronicles tragedies of child health caused by environmental toxicants. It covers cases of cancer, autism, and other illnesses and disorders, and it offers possible links to these hazards. It also follows the money -- it reveals the names of businesses that are responsible and talks about what they've done to avoid accountability for children's suffering. It is a hard-hitting book written by smart and capable journalists."
Read the complete interview

— Richard Clapp, DSc, MPH, Professor of Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health

 

"Brilliant. Every parent in America owes a debt of gratitude to Philip and Alice Shabecoff. [Poisoned for Profit] should be high on the next President's reading list."

— Barry Commoner, Senior Scientist and Emeritus Director, Center for Biology of Natural Systems, Queens College

 

"A sober and sobering account by two deeply experienced journalists. [Poisoned for Profit] is essential reading for all who care about children, families and America's future."

— Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc, Professor and Chairman, Department of Community & Preventive Medicine Professor of Pediatrics Director, Children's Environmental Health Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

 

"Painstakingly researched, incontrovertible,. [Poisoned for Profit] should become an elemental text for all who wish to protect ourselves, especially those who claim to be public servants."

— Peter Matthiessen, author, Shadow Country

 

"Into an arena filled with confusing claims and counter-claims, Philip and Alice Shabecoff have now brought their remarkable journalistic skills, providing us with a clear-headed, accurate assessment of the toxic threat to America's children. a highly readable indictment so powerful it may finally force action. We have needed this book; now at last we have it."

— James Gustave Speth, author, The Bridge at the Edge of the World and dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

 

"Powerful reporting backing powerful conclusions--it will make those of us with kids shudder, but hopefully it will also make us get out of our chairs and engage in the politics necessary to protect the future."

— Bill McKibben, author, The Bill McKibben Reader

 

"Poisoned for Profit is a winner. Children are powerless to fight exposure to chemicals in their environment. Finally someone has spoken out on behalf of children."

— Gary A. Praglin, plaintiffs' lawyer, Erin Brockavich's counsel, in the "Erin Brockavich" case

 

"An elegant exposition ... the system is outdated and doesn't protect. No reasonable person would allow the negligence we have exhibited towards our children."

— Richard J. Jackson, Chair, Environmental Health Sciences, University of California Berkeley School of Public Health

 

"With the seasoned eyes of savvy reporters, the Shabecoffs bravely and cogently confirm that our children inherit a much more threatening world than their parents. A provocative wake up call and searing and unsettling indictment, this book exposes the perils and promise of the future."

— Devra L. Davis, director, Center for Environmental Oncology, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health; author, The Secret History of the War on Cancer

 

"The jury is still out on whether the public will demand effective changes in environmental policy and corporate practices that permit the increasing level of toxicity in our society. After reading this well-documented and accessible analysis, which exposes the American institutions’ willingness to ignore science and public health in favor of protecting corporations’ rising profit rates, many will be roused to action."
Read the full review.

— Opinion/Editorial, October 2008, The Cornucopia Institute

 

"The formulaic approach may not seem promising; indeed, I sat down to read with a raised eyebrow. But soon enough, as I waded in and encountered the range, depth, and persuasiveness of their material, it occurred to me that the authors may have seized on the sturdy procedural form as the only structure sound enough to bear the weight of their vast and impassioned analysis. The book vibrates with controlled rage."
Read the full review

— Kim Larsen, onearth, an independent publication of the Natural Resources Defense Council August 28, 2008

 

"If you are a little worried about the effects of toxic pollution on your kids, but need to get a lot more worried before taking action, read Poisoned for Profit: How Toxins Are Making Our Children Chronically Ill"

— Michelle Lalonde, Montreal Gazette, Tuesday, October 7