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The Great Waste
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Getting Away From it All

Cover of Living Healthy in a Toxic World Living Healthy in a Toxic World by David Steinman and R. Michael Wisner provides useful answers to many questions about what is unhealthy in our environment.

By Aron C. Mason

any of us know all too well that there are things in our immediate environment which are unhealthy – even toxic. We assume that these are the really obvious things, like carbon monoxide from our exhaust pipes and formaldehyde. Yet even most of us who are “educated” on health issues and toxic substances are missing the big picture. That is what David Steinman and R. Michael Wisner tell us in their new book – and they also solve that problem as best they can in 183 pages, with a sense of humor which makes the book very readable.

Steinman and Wisner are both quite learned in the field of toxic substances and health. Steinman is one of the world’s foremost toxicologists and the author and co-author of best-selling books on these subjects, including Diet for a Poisoned Planet and The Safe Shopper’s Bible. Wisner has spent two decades leading studies into human toxicity and detoxification and has helped thousands to regain their health without drugs or surgery. From synthetic carpets and electromagnetic fields in the home to artificial sweeteners and hormones in food, the authors describe the dangers and consequences of being careless about the things we eat and drink and even the building and furnishing materials which we use in our homes and offices. Even cosmetics and hair-coloring products are examined and explained. The authors also provide unusual insight into what is happening to our environment and how it is being done.

But don’t think that this is merely a bookful of bad news you’d be better off without. “So you’ve read this far and you think the only things you can eat are tofu burgers and alfalfa sprouts,” write the authors in chapter 32 (appropriately titled “What’s in the Fridge?”). “You have some facts. That is a start. If you are making ten wrong food choices a day, maybe now you can cut it to six. If you gotta have it, have it.” But to help make the right choices, the authors then detail dozens of options – along with a list of things which should be totally avoided. And they also explain why, and offer references if you want to learn more.

In fact, Steinman and Wisner offer solutions to virtually every problem they identify in their book. As a kind of test, I looked up different possible problems – e.g., allergies triggered by food, toxins released from plastic containers. Each one I looked up was simply and understandably treated, with several solutions or alternatives offered. If your synthetic insulation is causing you respiratory problems, they tell you how you can replace it and what to replace it with. If you like lobster but don’t want the toxins that frequently come with them, they tell you what kinds of lobster are safe. Even safe ways to dye your hair sans toxic chemicals.

In chapter 16, “Just Say No!”, the authors treat a subject which becomes even more salient as the book continues: drugs. “We wanted to think of something funny to tell you about drugs. There isn’t. The tragic and devastating consequences of drug abuse have been thoroughly documented. However, you probably don’t know many drugs, legal and illegal, are stored in your body long after you cease using them. Stored drug residues can adversely affect your health.” Their information on the effects of drugs on the body – short and long term – is devastating. Steinman and Wisner describe the results of exhaustive studies which show drugs like LSD, marijuana and cocaine staying in the body’s fatty tissues for decades.

But as the reader learns later in the book, drugs are not the only toxins which can accumulate in the body. The authors found that chemicals found in many workplaces, environmental pollutants and even radiation can have lasting effects on the human body – more so if the period of exposure was extended or acute. Naturally this raises the question of how one handles the cumulative effects.

Steinman and Wisner have simple answers. They recommend and explain the Narconon drug rehabilitation program to help those presently on drugs, and the Hubbard Detoxification program for the reduction and removal of toxic substances from the body. This isn’t surprising, given Wisner’s long association with the program, which has included some of the most in-depth research into detoxification. Wisner told Freedom that he found unequivocally that the Hubbard program was “the most effective solution to toxic poisoning and drug residuals.”

It isn’t too far into Living Healthy in a Toxic World that one realizes that the problem of toxic substances and their effects on health and the environment is much bigger than any one person or company. There are governments which condone or even encourage gradual destruction, companies and private interests which work quietly to remove environmental and health safeguards to “enhance” their own profits, and individual politicians who speak the “right environmental message” to gain election but translate none of their words into deeds. As the authors point out, a lot of people need to do a lot of speaking-up to get the message across that the direction in which the environment is headed must change. “Your vote counts. Elections matter. ... Are you tired of being the last person to know that you have been transformed into an environmental guinea pig?”

Chances are, you will feel much the same way when you have read this book. But you will also have scores of solutions and alternatives to continuing to be a part of – or on the receiving end of – today’s environmental problems. On that score, Living Healthy in a Toxic World may be one of the best books yet published on health and the environment.
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