In these days of greater awareness about chemical safety—and in the wake of the FDA's new concern about bisphenol-A (BPA)—here's an appropriate event that readers in the Washington, D.C., area might want to attend. The authors of the new book Slow Death by Rubber Duck are reading from 6:30 to 8 p.m. tomorrow at Busboys and Poets.
I haven't read Slow Death, but it looks interesting. And if I could teleport myself to the East Coast tomorrow, I would ask the authors about their choice of title and symbolic icon. You see, I intentionally bought Mini-Mouth a natural-rubber duck bath toy instead of the far more common plastic ones, because I didn't want to expose her to phthalates.
I know some people have serious allergies to rubber (latex), but Slow Death seems mostly focused on the tens of thousands of untested synthetic chemicals that people come into contact with via countless everyday products—chemicals that may well be carcinogens, mutagens, or reproductive toxins.
The answer is probably that the duck is simply more photogenic.