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Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What's at Stake for American Power

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  197 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Book by Schapiro, Mark
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 16th 2007 by Chelsea Green Publishing
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mark
Dec 12, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The E.U. is currently implementing environmental safeguards that are much more stringent than those in the United States — eliminating toxic materials, overseeing the entire life cycle of a product, and generally holding up the precautionary principle as the guidepost for consumer safety decisions.

So what does this mean for American manufacturing and consumers? As Mark Schapiro lays bare, it means a lot. Specifically, if American manufacturers want continued access to the buying power of the EU
...more
Christian Cabunag
Oct 07, 2015 Christian Cabunag rated it really liked it
Mark Schapiro's Exposed is about America's decline in power in the world's manufacturing industries. Schapiro explores the different dangerous, and unhealthy products that America uses, and sells to other countries to continue manufacturing. These products however, are cheap, and low quality to the American people. Countries such as China, Mexico, countries in Africa, and Southeast Asia take part in American businesses, such as Toys r Us to make these products. Schapiro explains that since ...more
Lindsay L
Oct 09, 2008 Lindsay L rated it it was amazing
Americans being sold down the river by their own government - it's not a new story, but it's still a compelling one. Mark Schapiro reveals the dirty business of major manufacturers - from cosmetics giants to companies producing household cleansers, electronics and even baby toys that are full of toxic chemicals proven to cause disease and sickness. Yet big business lobbyists have effectively quelched any new legislation requiring manufacterers to remove these harmful chemicals. Perhaps most ...more
Lynn
Nov 09, 2007 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Americans
This is a really good book about how the United States has become the dumping ground for all the toxic chemicals that the European Union and other countries have banned. Since the EU banned thousands of toxic chemicals based on the precautionary principle, multinationals have developed alternative less toxic products that meet EU standards while continuing the produce and sell the old toxic ones here because the gov't lets them. Plus, all these chemical companies are making great progress and ...more
Victoria Klein
Aug 01, 2010 Victoria Klein rated it it was amazing
When I received my copy of Exposed by Mark Schaprio in the mail, I thought I was going to be reading a laundry list of dangerous yet everyday chemicals that degrade the human experience. As the old saying goes,” close, but no cigar.”

Not only did I learn about the widely untested yet ubiquitous chemicals we encounter daily, I also learned about the utter impotence of the United States government to take a concern for its citizens – something that won’t come as a surprise to most of you.

Mark Schap
...more
P.S. Carrillo
Jul 11, 2016 P.S. Carrillo rated it really liked it
We all know that the world has been poluted with man made poisons, what most of us don't realize is that these toxins have infiltrated every living system including ourselves. Schapiro covers toxic chemicals in everyday use such as cosmetics, GMOs, e-waste, pesticides and links each to the criminal negligence of governments, namely the U.S. to regulate and or ban these substances. He extensively cites all the regulations of the EU and makes the case that the U.S. has lost substantial influence ...more
AJ
Jan 20, 2009 AJ rated it liked it
This book gives a good overview of the new EU environmental regulations that are going into effect, and how those are shifting the old America-as-global-ruler-in-everything paradigm. I must say that I was hoping this book would focus more on the environmental/social aspect of toxins and not just the political, but it still made for a somewhat interesting read. (Most annoying were the typos and blatant errors. Is David Wirth a professor at BC or BU?!)

The one thing I found particularly interesting
...more
Shruts
Nov 17, 2008 Shruts rated it it was ok
Shapiro unleashes an unabashedly biased diatribe against the US regulatory agencies and the chemical industries they are supposedly watchdogging.

His primary point is well taken: The Bush administration's dogged determination to tear down all federal regulatory authority has only encouraged the European Union to write our rules for us. So, since our economies are intertwined, instead of less regulation, we will now have more, but without US input, and results that are beyond our control.

It is u
...more
Tina
Dec 13, 2007 Tina rated it it was amazing

Mark Schapiro, the chief editor for the Center for Investigative Reporting will speak tonight at the bookstore where i work (Red Hill Books on Cortland) to talk about his book Exposed which is about how the EU is going to kick the US economy's ass (already is) especially where green packaging and product is concerned as European countries seem to be the only ones following our long ago established guidelines for health and safety regarding the host of petroleum products we ingest every day.

He's
...more
Jennifer Wilson
Apr 25, 2013 Jennifer Wilson rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
"Chronic chemical exposure generally occurs in minute quantities that accrue over time; assessing their precise effect is extremely difficult. But the sheer abundance of toxins to which women are routinely exposed - through cosmetics as well as numerous other products - prompted the Breast Cancer Fund, a non-profit group of health care advocates, to assert that as many as one-half of new breast cancer cases cannot be explained by known risk factors, such as genetic predisposition, smoking, or ...more
Red
Dec 03, 2007 Red rated it it was amazing


Awesome book.
Original take on muckraking the toxins, the even more pervasive toxins, in the most seemingly innocuous products.

it is a great call to arms:

if we don't follow our own guidelines toward safety and we continue to turn our backs on our health, then we are doomed in an increasingly green conscious marketplace. and we are getting sicker and sicker while losing more money!

helloooo...

Mark Schapiro will make a personal appearance at Red Hill's house at 401 Cortland
on December 13th at 7pm an
...more
Shin Furuya
Aug 07, 2011 Shin Furuya marked it as to-read
Provides a good overview and analysis of regulatory gap between the US and Europe (and the world), deconstructing the myths of the US environmental leadership while warning the increased risks for massive use of toxic chemicals in various products without ever being tested (or even being tested and has some negative implications). It's pretty easy to follow with each chapter focuses on specific industries, most of which are key industries for chemical uses. The US government's reactionary ...more
Katie
May 02, 2012 Katie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
An excellent venture into how and why America is losing power in today's global economy. Although Japan, China, Mexico and the European Union are making great strides to protect consumers from toxic chemicals, genetically modified foods and other carcinogenic/mutagenic substances US political and industrial leaders are dragging their feet to comply. Their excuses as to why compliance will ruin American industry just don't add up and are actually destroying America's ability to compete in the ...more
Cassie
Jan 28, 2008 Cassie rated it liked it
Recommends it for: moms, dads, Americans, consumers, voters
ossibly one of the driest books ever. like eating a bowl of shredded wheat without milk. basically you need to fortify yourself with like a double espresso and a very uncomfortable chair, and you'll be all set. but it is a worthwhile thing to read. hmm, i think the take home message is 'if you want to avoid toxic shit, move to europe because at least the people in charge there aren't paid to ignore it.' yikes. it certainly didn't make me feel very good about plastic toys. phthalates = bad news. ...more
Laura
Jan 03, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
Started this thinking "great, a real 'upper' book for the start of the year" but I'm three chapters in and it's really not that bad. It's also not one of those Warning! Disaster LOOMS! books, which is nice.

On the other hand, the author injects himself into the "story" too often, and adds (IMVHO) unnecessary color to the narrative. This isn't Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, peopled with charming, colorful characters, it's a nonfiction work looking at the changing world of chemicals and p
...more
Jamie
Nov 28, 2008 Jamie rated it really liked it
This book was a huge eye opener on the lack of protection that the United States provides for everyday consumers. I heard some people criticizing the book on campus saying that it "wasn't enough scientific information explaining the detail of the toxins in products". I understand why they are saying that there isn't enough information on that, however the book's thesis was not about the toxins. The thesis was that we already know there are toxins in our products, however the United States is ...more
Linda
Oct 31, 2009 Linda rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up at a used book store, and it changed how I viewed global markets in one afternoon. If you cannot understand why corporations battle current environmental and health policy-making in Washington, this book will open your eyes to why those companies do not want change. If America does not adopt a preventative attitude like those policies that are developed in Brussels, you might count on this country becoming a third-world nation that suffers as a dumping ground for the ...more
Sandy
Jun 11, 2009 Sandy rated it liked it
Schapiro documents the rise of the European Union and the economic power shift occurring. Seeking stricter safety regulations and healthy products in spite of US protests, the EU is leading the world to new standards in manufacturing. Why aren't US manufacturers protecting US citizens from carcinogens, mutagens and reproductive toxins when the EU can and does demand higher standards. The US is becoming the dumping ground for goods not wanted elsewhere and the health of our food exports are ...more
Lou Rocama
Kind of a snore. Mainly about regulations around the world and how companies try to get around them. At least, the first chapter and the later bits I skimmed are.

I got this from the library thinking it would be along the lines of 'You know this common chemical in your shampoo/detergent/lipstick/toothpaste/etc? It's going to poison you in these ways' followed by summaries of chemical reactions and/or info from an msds. Always cheerful reading.

In hindsight, this was wishful thinking.
Russ Stratfull
Nov 30, 2008 Russ Stratfull rated it it was amazing
This book is frightening but has been a great read. Makes me realize how much our government has abandoned our safety. Before this book, I didn't realize that the EPA and the FDA stopped being the global trend setters for what is safe in the market place for consumers.
April
Mar 14, 2008 April rated it really liked it
An unsettling look at the non-regulation of personal care products, and the disingenuous way corporations have fought to keep toxic ingredients on our shelves. I went out and bought new baby shampoo after reading this.
Sarah
Jun 28, 2010 Sarah is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
So far I am really, really enjoying this book. I'm learning a ton about the politics of the chemicals we use in our society -- and the gnarly stuff that we have in products in the USA that are banned abroad.
Luke Reisdorf
Feb 25, 2012 Luke Reisdorf rated it liked it
This book is focused on the differences in regulation of chemicals in Europe verses’ the US and how they may be encouraging innovative alternatives in Europe, benefiting their economy while suspect chemicals remain grandfathered in and in use in the US.
Mason
Oct 16, 2008 Mason rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: hippies, natural food eaters
Recommended to Mason by: a lady by a river
I was expecting this book to be entertaining and informative, and it was both. Not a very difficult read and full of details on the microscopic and macroeconomic consequences of our everyday household purchases.
Alyssa
Sep 30, 2009 Alyssa rated it it was amazing
You'll never want to drink from plastic or wear make-up again after you read this book. Demonstrates how the US is FAR behind the EU in regulating and keeping consumers safe from chemicals we are exposed to every day. READ IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN.
Selena Calingo
Feb 01, 2008 Selena Calingo rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
This book illustrates why our government just doesn't work for the people anymore. At times, reading this, I was thoroughly disgusted with the US. Europe seems to have the right preventative approach to the toxicity problem.
Natasha P.
Oct 05, 2007 Natasha P. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who uses any cosmetic and/ or personal care product sold in the USA
The many products that we use everyday of our lives from mascara to lotion is what's behind such things as infertility, cancer etc. The US government has NO AGENCY that regulates what toxic substances that are put in our personal care products.
Richard
Dec 23, 2008 Richard rated it really liked it
A good overview of toxics that we are exposed to everyday. I call them "Systemic Consumption". Worth reading
Deena
Feb 09, 2009 Deena rated it it was amazing
met this author at green festival this year. great book - learned a lot about US policy that is now years behind Europe.
Sandra
Nov 18, 2009 Sandra rated it really liked it
Our country has forfeited its leadership role in environmental concerns. Will there be a market for US goods if policies don't change?
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Mark Schapiro is editorial director of the Center for Investigative Reporting in San Francisco. He has written extensively on foreign affairs and his work has appeared in Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine and other publications, and he has reported stories for Frontline, NOW with Bill Moyers, and public radio's Marketplace. Schapiro lives in San Francisco, California"
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