Passion Points: Green/Eco
MacKay Jenkins, an author and the director of Journalism at the University of Delaware, never set out to write about the toxic world we inhabit—until he went for a regular health check-up and discovered that he had a potentially malignant tumor beside his hip. The health scare passed (the tumor turned out to be benign) but right before undergoing surgery, Jenkins was interviewed by two researchers whose questions left him deeply shaken. They asked about how many toxic chemicals he had been exposed to in his life, honing in not on industrial chemicals but those, they explained, are found in everyday objects: “On and on it went. Detergents or fumes from plastic meat wrap? Benzene or other solvents? Formaldehyde? Varnishes? Adhesives? Lacquers? Glues? Acrylic or oil paints? Inks or dyes? Tanning solutions? Cotton textiles? Fiberglass? Bug killers or pesticides? Weed killers or herbicides…”
The journalist in Jenkins perked up and set out to conduct some of his own research, the results of which are now published in the fascinating, informative and at turns shocking book, What’s Gotten Into Us: Staying...
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