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Book Review: The Non-Toxic Avenger by Deanna Duke

Posted Jan 15 2012 3:28pm


The author, Deanna Duke, was already interested in living an eco-friendly life when, in the same year, her kindergarten aged son was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and her 38 year old husband was diagnosed with a type of leukemia.  This shocked her into realizing that her world was not as toxin free as she thought and made her wonder if the toxins in the environment contributed to her family’s health issues.  She began researching the possibility of having herself tested for many common toxins.  She planned on being tested, then eliminating all these toxins from her life, then being retested.

The most difficult part of her project was arranging the various tests for her body burden evaluation.  The problem was that labs don’t usually do testing for individuals, so this part took much research and planning.  Some of the common toxins for she was tested were pesticides, PCB’s, phthlates, parabens, volatile solvents, and toxic metals.  She was careful to keep using her “normal” products until after the testing, then she began to eliminate as many sources of common toxins as possible.  

She filtered her water, changed deodorant, eliminated nail polish, bought a new vacuum with a HEPA filter, bought additional house plants, ate organic foods, eliminated flame retardants, gave away non-stick cookware, along with many other actions.  After a couple of months lab results began to come in. Deanna had some good results and some that were not as good.  When she had eliminated as many toxins from her environment as possible, she began a detox program.  This involved exercise, diet restrictions, a weekly massage, meditation, and some vitamin supplements.   She eliminated all processed flours, wheat, and coffee.  She continued the detox program for a month and then had her body burden tests done again.


The Non-Toxic Avenger was a great read.  Deanna writes in an easy and humorous way, even when explaining scientific results.  Her family is not so different from mine or yours. I expected the book to be full of long chemical names and data which could make it hard to follow.  Of course all those name were there - they had to be, but I couldn’t put the book down.  I had to find out what happened to her family.  Was the second round of tests better?  How was her husband doing with his fight against cancer?  Did her son improve?  Was this worth while for Deanna and her daughter?  

The sub-title of the book is “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You”.  We tend to trust manufacturers to make products that have no health damaging toxins, but this is not reality.  As Deanna has demonstrated, we all must take the initiative to educate ourselves and clean up our own lives.  All the precautions she uses can be done by most of us.  Buy “The Non-Toxic Avenger” and see for yourself.

Deanna Duke is also a very successful eco-blogger at the Crunchy Chicken .
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