book club post for my book, The Non-Toxic Avenger: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You! This is the first of seven posts and will cover Part 1 of the book, Laying It all Out. The format will be the same for each Monday's postings: review followed by discussion questions. If you have questions from the section outside what I'm mentioning here, feel free to ask! I'm splitting the book up into small chunks to make the book club an easy breeze rather than feel like a midterm exam. So, expect them to be short and fun!
Part 1: Laying It All Out - Review
In this section, I describe why I started looking into environmental toxins in the first place. The most compelling reasons were linked to the fact that my son was diagnosed with developmental problems on the autistic spectrum and, more alarmingly, my husband was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a form of blood cancer with a relatively dire prognosis.
After wondering why two of my family members were stricken with such debilitating diseases, I wondered what environmental factors beyond genetic predisposition triggered these conditions. As I did more and more research on the potential for toxins such as pesticides, solvents and other chemicals to contribute to autism and cancers, I became curious to find out what my own body burden level of toxins were.
I also started looking at my own health problems and wondering what environmental impacts could be triggering those issues. I started looking at the true risks of many of the chemicals exposures we subject ourselves to on a daily basis and looked into whether or not those exposures meant anything significant.
Ultimately, I lined up a number of chemical body burden tests to determine how I ranked in comparison to the average American. Was my body more or less exposed to toxins and, did my aversion to chemical-based products by choosing organic and "natural" products really amount to anything?
1. How concerned are you of the long-term health consequences of the chemicals you knowingly (via consumer products) and unknowingly (via background exposure) are exposed to? Do you think they amount to anything or is it just a load of paranoia?
2. All the chemicals mentioned in the book are deemed "safe" by the FDA, do you think they are safe or do you think we need far more testing done on them?
3. Do you feel like you have more and more friends and family members being stricken by diseases like cancers and autism? Do you think these are on the rise or is it just a matter of better diagnosis and reporting?
4. Do you think that organic and "natural" consumer products are safer than conventional ones?
5. Would you undergo toxin body burden testing if you had access to it and it were paid for?
Feel free to answer the discussion questions in the comments of this post, or via Facebook if you are following along from the fan page. And, if you haven't yet read the book, you are welcome to participate as well!