book stack,  poisoned profits, what's in this stuff, the body toxic
Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D 
There must be something in the air: Three new books address our exposure to toxins. Nena Baker, the author of The Body Toxic (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), gets her blood tested and finds out she's positive for more than three dozen toxic substances—including DDT (banned 36 years ago). This opens her investigation into our country's long history of better living through chemistry, and the price we're paying now.

In Poisoned Profits (Random House), investigative reporters Philip and Alice Shabecoff, motivated by the troubling health problems facing their own grandchildren, explore the links between skyrocketing rates of asthma, ADHD, and autism and the increasing levels of chemicals in our environment.

What's in This Stuff? (Perigee), by Patricia Thomas, editor of The Ecologist magazine, gives us the means to protect ourselves and our families. Thomas goes room by room through the typical house, and outside to the yard, revealing which products contain the most toxins—and the best alternatives.