Nena Baker spent over 25 years in the trenches of journalism before writing "The Body Toxic," her first book. She has worked for GQ magazine and TV Guide. Her writing has also appeared in SELF, Town & Country, Seventeen and Mademoiselle. While writing for a jewelry trade magazine, she exposed the illegal disposal of toxic chemicals by retail jewelers. As an award-winning staff writer for The Oregonian, she was the first U.S. reporter to investigate deplorable conditions at Nike's Indonesian factories. While at the Arizona Republic, she investigated the financial dealings of the sports mogul Jerry Colangelo, the plan for public financing of a new Arizona Cardinals football stadium, and the cover-up of sex abuse by Catholic priests in Arizona.
During her high school and college years, Baker was occasionally employed selling shoes at a high-end department store. She weatherproofed hundreds of pairs of shoes using a now-discontinued spray-on product. This may explain the higher-than-average amount of perflorochemicals measured in Baker's blood, which was tested as part of her research for "The Body Toxic."
Nena Baker, author of The Body Toxic, discussed how chemicals in the environment and the foods we eat threaten our health and well-being. Researchers have found a link between obesity and perfluorinated compounds found in Teflon surfaces and microwavable popcorn bags, Baker said. These chemicals once released into the environment never breakdown, she added, noting that banned substances DDT (Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane) and PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls) are still detectable.Baker said 38 world experts have written a consensus statement regarding the adverse affects of Bisphenol A, a compound found in baby and sports bottles. According to her research, exposure to Bisphenol A and similar chemicals may have led to an increase in breast and prostate cancers, urogenital abnormalities in male babies, a decline of semen quality in men, and early puberty in young girls.Children and pets may be at risk from polybrominated flame retardants used in television se ... More »Host: Ian Punnett