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

From tainted pet food to toxic toys, Americans can thank the successful lobbying efforts of the U.S. chemical industry for the secret ingredients in everyday products that have been linked to rising rates of infertility, endocrine system disruptions, neurological disorders, and cancer.

While the U.S. Congress stalls in the face of these dangers, the European Union has chosen to act. Strict consumer-safety regulations have forced multinationals to manufacture safer products for European consumers, while lower U.S. standards allow them to continue selling unsafe products to Americans. Schapiro's exposé shows that short of strong government action, the United States will lose not only its ability to protect citizens from environmental hazards but also, as economic priorities shift, whatever claim it has to commercial supremacy. Increasingly, products on American shelves are equated with serious health hazards, hazards that the European Union is legislating out of existence in its powerful trading bloc, a lead that even China is beginning to follow. Schapiro illustrates how the blowback from weak regulation at home carries a steep economic, as well as environmental, price.

In Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What's at Stake for American Power, investigative journalist Mark Schapiro takes the reader to the front lines of global corporate and political power, where tectonic battles are being waged that will determine the physical and economic health of our children and ourselves.

Reviews from Goodreads.com

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By Mark (Spokane, WA) · ★★★★☆ · December 12, 2008
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 decision... ...more
By Lindsay (New York, NY) · ★★★★★ · October 09, 2008
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... ...more
By Lynn (The United States) · ★★★★★ · November 09, 2007
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 alternativ... ...more
By Jennifer · ★★★☆☆ · April 25, 2013
"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... ...more
By Victoria (Brooklyn, NY) · ★★★★★ · August 01, 2010
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 ch... ...more
By Shruts (Milton, DE) · ★★☆☆☆ · November 17, 2008
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 E... ...more
By Tina (The United States) · ★★★★★ · December 13, 2007

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 an... ...more
By Red (San Francisco, CA) · ★★★★★ · December 03, 2007


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... ...more
By Lou (Colorado Springs, CO) · December 02, 2014
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/... ...more
By Shin (New York, NY) · August 07, 2011
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 a... ...more