Raising Children Toxic Free: How to Keep Your Child Safe from Lead Asbestos, Pesticides, and Other Environmental Hazards by Herbert Needleman and Philip Landrigan
This book is a little out of date (1994), but it was still interesting - and very easy to read. Mostly I'm shocked over and over again at how chemicals are used throughout our society (industry and home) without any testing whatsoever. Even shampoo, make-up and fancy anti-aging lotions contain chemicals that have not been tested at all for safety or toxicity!
I was impressed by the authors' desire to be reasonable. They wrote the book for parents (and pediatricians) but don't want to create anxiety about what can't be controlled or minimal risks. A lot of books about the toxins children encounter are a little overbearing.
I know there are people who think autism is caused by vaccines, but I think it's much more likely caused by a chemical (or a combination of chemicals) released into the environment. It may even be a prenatal exposure that puts children at risk. The FDA has too much to do, not enough money and not enough authority, but at least there are some restrictions and protocols. Nearly everything else is fair game. It's so difficult to show an actual effect within a population that dangerous toxins are released into our air (water, etc.) for decades before we realize they're a problem. There really should be toxicity requirements before chemicals are used in products, especially household products.
As a side note, he mentioned the dangers of lanolin, which I never really believed before, but apparently it's because it's derived from sheep's wool and many of the sheep are treated with pesticides -- so the pesticides are still in the lanolin when we use it. (Lanolin is marketed specifically to nursing mothers and for babies.) We never used it that much, but now I'll be more careful.
By the way, these authors have a newer book, published in 2002, that I also intend to request from interlibrary loan.