Recommended Books

Here are some books we highly recommend - both to support you in finding out more about pesticides, toxics, and their alternatives - and for you to encourage others in doing the same.

Most of these books are available through bookstores. When possible, we have included the last known price that we have. Those marked with an asterisk (*) are available directly from publisher.

If you have any updates or suggested additions to this list, please let us know. Review copies are welcome!

PURCHASING NOTE FROM PATRICIA DINES: I choose all the books here purely because I find them valuable. And I encourage you to buy books from your local independent bookseller, your local used bookstore, or the author directly.

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"We are subjecting whole populations to exposure to chemicals which animal experiments have proved to be extremely poisonous and in many cases cumulative in their effects. These exposures begin at or before birth and - unless we change our methods - will continue through the lifetime of those now living. No one knows what the results will be because we have no previous experience to guide us."

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
Commenting on the vast experiment with toxic pesticides on the well-being of all life on earth


Silent Spring, Rachel Carson, 1962. Classic indictment of the health and environmental harm that synthetic pesticides do. Though some facts have changed, the inspirational vision and writing is still very current today. ($11.95)

• After Silent Spring: The Unsolved Problems of Pesticide Use in the US*, NRDC, 1993. Great overview of the key issues and solutions, backed by lots of facts and footnotes. See <> and look under Toxic Chemicals and Health.

Our Children's Toxic Legacy: How Science and Law Fail to Protect Us From Pesticides, John Wargo, 1996. Excellent summary of the legal, scientific, and regulation issues that allow these toxics to be sold and used at the level they are. Rich and thorough footnotes. ($30, hardcover)

The Pesticide Conspiracy, Robert Van Den Bosch, 1978. An entomologist (bug expert) talks frankly about the serious flaws with pesticide use, and how the pesticide industry manipulates research, university, and science with money. Hard-hitting, lots of facts.


• The Truth About Breast Cancer: A 7-Step Prevention Plan, Joseph Keon PhD, 1999. An excellent book which includes quality information on the toxic links to breast cancer - and thus how to truly protect oneself. ($18)

Breast Cancer: Poisons, Profits, and Prevention, Liane Clorfene-Casten, 1996.

Our Stolen Future, Theo Colburn et al, 1996. Information about environmental estrogens and the harm they do to animal and human reproduction and more - presented accessibly in an investigation story format. ($24.95)

Pesticides and the Immune System*, Repetto, Robert, and Baliga, Sanjay S, 1996. ($15.95)

Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisonings*, EPA. [EPA735R98003] Ideal for medical people, this reference book focusses on acute problems from pesticides (with an index by symptom), and also includes a discussion of pesticides' actions in the body. (Free.) (800) 490-9198.

Staying Well in a Toxic World*. Lawson, Lynn. 1993 with an update in 2000. "Understanding Environmental Illness, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Chemical Injuries, Sick Building Syndrome." Very knowledgeable conversation of the toxics in different areas of our lives (jobs, home, pesticides, medicines, etc.). Great range without being overwhelming; lots references for more information; engaging writing. Contact author at (847) 866-9630.

Long Life Now: Strategies for Staying Alive, Dr. Lee Hitchcox, 1996. Includes a detailed discussion of pesticides' impact on our health, the problems with the pesticide industry/regulation system, and suggested individual and community-level remedies. ($15.95)


Diet for a Poisoned Planet, David Steinman, 1990. "How to Choose Safe Foods for You and Your Family." Excellent discussion of the overall issues of pesticides in our food and world. Includes great detail about which pesticides are found on what produce and how to minimize your exposure. ($12.40)


• The Green Kitchen Handbook, Annie Berthold-Bond, 1997. An excellent action-oridented introduction to a variety of food and household problem areas and alternatives.

Nontoxic Home and Office, Debra Lynn Dadd, 1992. Good beginning book on this topic, to identify the toxics in your environment, and to learn the easy, cheap, nontoxic alternatives. ($10.95)

Nontoxic, Natural, and Earthwise, Debra Lynn Dadd, 1990. Detailed reference book, discussing what is toxic in what way and describing both homemade and store-bought options. ($12.95)

Sustaining the Earth: A Consumer Guide, Debra Dadd-Redalia (née Debra Lynn Dadd), 1994. ($15.00)

Designer Poisons*, Dr. Marion Moses. "How to Protect Your Health and Home from Toxic Pesticides." Detailed information on specific household pesticides, their harmful effects, and some alternative approaches. ($19.95) For more information, see <> or call (415) 391-8511.

Clean & Green: The Complete Guide to Nontoxic and Environmentally Safe Housekeeping. Annie Berthold-Bond. Lots of specific "recipes" for cleaning with nontoxic materials. ($8.95)

Common-Sense Pest Control: Least Toxic Solutions for Your Home, Garden, Pets, and Community, William and Helga Olkowski, Sheila Daar. The definitive book on ecological pest control, containing very thorough information on pest life cycles, habits, and methods of control. 706 pages, including a detailed index. A great book for a library or resource center! ($39.95)

• Landscaping with Nature, Jeff Cox, 1991. "Using nature's designs to plan your yard." Inspiring examples and information.


Toxics A-Z. Good reference information about chemicals, including some pesticides. Good detail while still readable.

Artist Beware. Covers the toxic hazards hidden in some art materials.

Consumer Dictionary of: Cosmetic Ingredients; Food Additives; Product Ingredients. Series by Ruth Winter.


The Ecology Of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability, Paul Hawken, 1994. Provocative discussion of reshaping our economy so that our natural urges for self-betterment are consistent with what's good for environment, not opposed to it. Examples of other countries doing this. ($14)

• Better Not Bigger: How to Take Control of Urban Growth and Improve Your Community, Eben Fodor, 1999. Ground-breaking, empowering book challenging our myths (beliefs) about the benefits of urban growth, and revealing its real costs of urban growths - even just in financial terms. Suggests that there are smarter ways we can develop the communities we really want. ($14.95, New Society). At bookstores or see <>.

• New Society Publishers. For a wide range of excellent books about healing our relationship with the environment and creating a better future and happy communities, we highly recommend this publisher. They publish quite a few of our favorite books. See their website at <>, both for their books and their links!

For more information on organics and other alternatives to toxics, see our Toxics and Alternatives Resources Page.

For information on Sonoma County and area toxics, organics, and environmental and political information and action, see our
Sonoma County Resources Page.

Information courtesy of:

"Information Empowering Action for a Healthier World"


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