VOLUME 19 #3

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McKay Jenkins: 10 Tips for staying healthy in a toxic world

In a new book published by Random House, McKay Jenkins, who is Cornelius A. Tilghman Professor of English and director of the journalism program at UD, explores the prevalence of chemicals in common consumer products and the extent to which those substances make their way into our bodies.

An experienced journalist and nonfiction author, Jenkins based What’s Gotten Into Us? Staying Healthy in a Toxic World on his examination of numerous scientific studies and on interviews with experts, some of them colleagues at UD. He’s spoken extensively about the subject, including a talk that was part of Earth Week activities on campus in April.

“We’re talking about a lifetime of exposure to chemicals in everything from cosmetics to herbicides to plastic water bottles to lead paint,” he says of his research. “You’re basically surrounded by this stuff day after day, just in the course of your normal activities, and it gets into your body one way or another.”

Here, he offers a few ideas of ways to reduce exposure to damaging substances.

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