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Book Review: 32 Tips that Could Save Your Life
By Doris J. Rapp, MD
Reviewed by Jennifer Morganti, ND, Director of Education for NEEDS

"We simply cannot continue to allow excessive toxic pollution of our air, food, water, homes, schools and workplaces. In one study, newborns had an average of 287 toxic chemicals in their blood, urine and even their breast milk. Some of these chemicals damage the brain and nervous system, the pancreas (causing diabetes), the thyroid (causing thyroid disease), the immune system (causing infection, allergy, and cancer), and the reproductive system (causing infertility and sex problems)."—Doris Rapp, MD

What better way to honor Earth Day, celebrated April 22, than to review Dr. Doris Rapp's new book, 32 Tips That Could Save Your Life. New York Times best-selling author Doris Rapp, MD is board-certified in pediatrics and pediatric allergies. A certified specialist in environmental medicine, she has published several medical articles, authored nine chapters in medical texts, and has written 11 books about allergies.

Although the above introduction to her latest book may sound like doomsday is coming, we view this as her gentle nudge to open up our eyes, making us aware of all the environmental offenses we should avoid. This book is chock-full of dreadful facts that we may have never considered about common chemicals lurking in unsuspecting places in our home, food, water, and outdoor environment. However, 32 Tips That Could Save Your Life is a must-read that consolidates hard-to-find information in a compact, handy book that makes for a quick and easy read.

The following excerpts from Dr. Rapp's book contain some tips that we found particularly interesting and helpful:

"A study was done on top-selling laundry and air freshener products at the University of Washington. All six products tested emitted at least one chemical regulated as toxic by federal laws, but not one of those chemicals was listed on the product labels.

Food Storage:
"Most of our home-use water is polluted and needs to be purified. Drink more pure water stored in glass or stainless steel. Avoid drinking, storing, or freezing water or any other liquid in plastic, Styrofoam, or aluminum. If you must use plastic, be sure that the recycling number on the bottom is #5."

EMF Exposure:
"What are the major symptoms of EMF exposure? Affected individuals will typically have a number of the following complaints: headaches, dizziness, memory loss,… muscle and joint pain,… [a] skin rash, [and a] burning [sensation]…What can be done to verify excessive EMF exposure? Measure and compare each room when all electrical things are disconnected..."

Ozone for Mold Elimination:
"Certain air purifiers produce ozone. They appear to reduce both mold and germ contamination, and although many have used these machines and claimed to feel better, certain health concerns keep arising. Because of ozone sensitivities at low levels and possible lung irritation from the smell of ozone, some recommend that ozone-generating machines be used only in areas where there are no humans, pets, or plants. After several hours of use, the windows and doors can be opened, and this should prevent or diminish mold or ozone-related health issues."

Alternatives to Moth Balls:
"Mothballs generally contain either naphthalene or dichlorobenzene…naphthalene is toxic to humans and can cause cataracts, anemia, and problems in the respiratory system. Dichlorobenzene is listed by the EPA as a possible human carcinogen."

"…the liver processes just about everything that enters the body. It is responsible for filtering toxins into the kidneys so they can be expelled from the body rather than being stored in fat. When the body is overexposed to toxins and chemicals, the liver has a hard time processing all of them, resulting in buildup of toxic substances. Natural liver cleansers include milk thistle, dandelion root, artichoke, and turmeric. These are believed to help the liver regenerate cells and repair itself. Dandelion root is a natural diuretic and helps clear toxins through urination and also helps stimulate bile flow so waste can be eliminated."

In addition to the tips in this book, Dr. Rapp includes extremely helpful, quick reference tables in the back, listing everyday items that contain chemicals we should be concerned about as well as the health effects of certain chemicals. Throughout the book she covers a wide variety of topics, from food allergies to infrared saunas to heating the home, making this a great gift to increase awareness for those you care about.

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