Interviews With Toxic Free Innovators


Honoring Rachel Carson–The First Author to Write About Toxics–For Earth Day

Silent Spring is a classsic environmental book, but it was also the first popular book to write about the toxic effects of pesticides to human health. Today I have two guests who have studied Carson’s life, to tell us more about her life and works, and how she contributed to our modern awareness of toxics.

Rachel Carson is one of my inspirations and heros, because she stood up for our rights to live in a toxic-free world when nobody else was talking about it. So today I want to honor her.

Linda LearLinda Lear PhD is the author of the acclaimed biography of Rachel Carson, Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature, and numerous articles on Carson. Lear’s biography of Carson was awarded the prize for the best book on women in science by the History of Science Society and has been translated into eight languages.

Patricia DemarcoPatricia DeMarco PhD has been a Rachel Carson scholar since 2005, with service as the Executive Director of the Rachel Carson Homestead Association and as the Director of the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham University. She writes and speaks extensively on the environmental ethic of Rachel Carson and her relevance to modern times. She is currently writing a book titled “Pathways to Our Sustainable Future.”

Silent Spring Rachel Carson                    Rachel Carson Linda Lear





Cookware – What’s Toxic and What’s Not

My guest is Rich Bergstrom from Ceramcor, makers of Xtrema Ceramic Cookware, the cookware I use every day. For 23 years Rich worked for and represented Corning Glass Works, considered the finest ceramics company in the world—makers of Corning Ware cookware, Pyrex bakeware and Corelle dinnerware. It was during these years he worked wit many wonderful people who helped to shape and mold his love for the glass ceramics business. In October of 2004, three years after his tenure with Corning ended, Rich received an unsolicited e-mail from Asia asking if he would be interested in a new high temperature ceramic material that could go on top of the stove and under the broiler, a product that would surpass the cooking performance and benefits of the original Corning Ware (the original Corning Ware manufacturing facility in Martinsburg, WV was closed and dismantled in 2002. Corning Ware is still being marketed today by World Kitchen but the product is now being made of stoneware and not the patented Pyro-Ceram material that made Corning Ware so recognizable). That single e-mail became the catalyst for three additional years of research, testing and product development, which led to the introduction of Xtrema cookware In February of 2007. Their vision is to make Xtrema products the healthiest for you and our planet. We’ll talk about the toxic exposures in various types of cookware and what Ceramcor is doing to make the safest cookware.



The Dangers of Prenatal Exposure to Bisphenol-A (BPA)

Today my guest is Gretchen Lee Salter, Senior Program and Policy Manager for the Breast Cancer Fund. We’ll be talking about a new report called Disrupted Development: The Dangers of Prenatal BPA Exposure, which is about how a pregnant woman’s exposure to BPA can affect her child’s development after birth and throughout their lives. Gretchen has played a leading role in the passage of landmark laws in California, including bans on toxic chemicals in children’s toys and feeding products and legislation that established the state’s biomonitoring, Safe Cosmetics and Safer Consumer Products programs. These efforts have served as models for environmental health policy in other states and federally. Gretchen also manages the Breast Cancer Fund’s Cans Not Cancer corporate accountability campaign, which has resulted in Campbell’s announcing it will phase out the use of the toxic chemical BPA. Before joining the Breast Cancer Fund, she worked as an organizer, advocate and activist in both legislative and electoral politics, including serving as the national budget director for the Democratic National Committee and working on presidential campaigns. Gretchen received a B.A. from the University of California at Davis.


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What’s Happening With Toxic Free Talk Radio

The Monday after Christmas I was surprised to receive an email from the network saying they could no longer produce my radio show. They were very sorry because they loved the show, but changes on their end made it impossible for us to continue.

I love doing the show and it’s likely that live interviews will return at some point as podcasts or a radio show on another network, but for now I have my work cut out for me to transfer 386 mp3 files from the network site to mine, and change all the links in the archives. It will all be an upgrade though because my site will now have the shows directly in a media player that works with all devices.

I’m also going to continue making transcripts for all the shows that don’t already have transcripts, and edit all the files to remove commercials and music for a more seamless listening experience. These are great interviews and I am making sure they are being preserved for future reference.

Each week I’ll be posting three featured shows from the archives and include them in the newsletter. There is a lot to listen to and learn from!