Canada’s Largest Show Features Dr. Paul Blanc

Canada’s most-listened to radio show The Current featured a fascinating interview with Paul D. Blanc, M.D. today. Hosted by Anna Maria Tremonti, one of Canada’s most trusted journalists, The Current airs weekday mornings across their country over the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC), and is heard across the U.S. on SiriusXM.

Here’s an excerpt from their summary:

For well over a century, viscose rayon has been used to make clothes, tires, cellophane and everyday kitchen sponges.

It was hailed as a wondrous new product when first introduced — but what most people didn’t know is how deadly manufacturing rayon was for the factory workers.

It’s an industrial hazard whose egregious history ranks up there with asbestos, lead and mercury, according to author Paul Blanc.

In his new book Fake Silk: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon (published by Yale University Press), Blanc, who is also a University of California professor of medicine, looks at how the manufacturing of viscose rayon served as a death sentence for many industry workers.

“There was a famous rubber factory where they put bars on the second story windows because so many workers had a tendency to jump out and kill themselves,” he tells The Current’s guest host Laura Lynch.

The key ingredient in the making of viscose is a molecule called carbon disulfide — a molecule so insidiously toxic that it devastated the minds and bodies of factory workers for more than a century.

Blanc says that occupational health and multinational corporations were aware of the dangers, but motivated by huge profits, failed to act.

“It was pretty easy to recognize the toxic effects early on because it makes workers insane. They found that about 30 per cent of the workers that they investigated showed signs of serious poisoning.”

But when it comes to the health impact on consumers, Blanc says there is none.

“Which is why … it’s gone on as long. Because when consumers aren’t affected, there’s not very much impetus for outrage if it’s just the poor people making it that suffer.”

Blanc says the fabric continues to this day to be “greenwashed” as an eco-friendly product.

“They omit entirely the fact that you can’t make the product without this toxic chemical. So it’s really a ‘greenwashing’ of the most diabolical sort.”

Listen to the full conversation HERE.

This interview is part of our comprehensive publicity campaign for Fake Silk. Are you looking for a publicist, a publicity firm for nonprofits, a PR firm for small business, or an independent book publicist? Carney & Associates specializes in science pr and sustainability topics. Please contact Kathlene Carney for a free consultation to find out how our publicity services can contribute to your success.

 

Audiobooks Are the New E-Books

The New York Times recently reported that audiobooks are the new e-books.

In a look back at 2015, they said “audiobooks joined podcasts as one of the breakout creative mediums of the year.” Sales of downloaded books increased by 38 percent in the first eight months of 2015, according to the Association of American Publishers. Meanwhile, e-book sales declined by 11 percent in the during the same period, leading to speculation that some consumers are switching from digital reading to digital listening.

The New York Times points out, “The growing use of smartphones means that practically everyone has an audiobook player on hand at all times. There are more titles than ever to choose from (25,787 audiobooks were released in 2014). And the medium is attracting prominent actors and celebrities.”

Tom Tivnan of the publishing industry bible The Bookseller also believes the rise is largely due to technology. “Streaming and speed of downloads helps, but simply that most people have a smartphone is probably the main factor,” he says. And developments in digital recording and distribution have made audiobooks more affordable. The Wall Street Journal notes that Stephen King’s lengthy The Stand cost $100 in 1978. Today it can be downloaded for $33.

I’ve been a fan of audiobooks for years.  As a book publicist my work is often sedentary, so when reading for pleasure I love the mobility afforded by audio downloads. And because I specialize in media relations for nonfiction titles, I gravitate toward fiction on my own time. It’s incredibly relaxing to have someone read me a story while I’m doing chores, running errands, or working out.

Bestselling crime writer Mark Billingham summed it up when he said, “I think people will always enjoy having a story told to them. It’s not something that happens often after childhood and it’s a rare and special treat.”

My book publicity clients often ask if I think it’s essential for them to produce an ebook version of their titles. Now a more important question is, when will your audiobook be ready?

Contact Kathlene Carney at Carney & Associates to see how our book publicity services can help promote your audiobook–or ebook. 😉

 

PW Loves Slick Water

Among the most coveted reviews in book publicity are those from Publishers Weekly.  As book publicists for Slick Water: Fracking and One Insider’s Stand Against the World’s Most Powerful Industry by Andrew Nikiforuk (published by Greystone Books in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation), we’re thrilled with the recent recognition our title received from PW.

“This book will infuriate its readers. In a dynamite example of investigative journalism, muckraker Nikiforuk (The Energy of Slaves) chronicles the environmental devastation wrought by the hydraulic fracking industry in Alberta and beyond. Nikiforuk frames his narrative through the struggles of oil industry consultant Jessica Ernst, the “insider” of the book’s subtitle who launched a $33-million-dollar (CAN$), multi-year lawsuit against Encana Energy and the Alberta government. Ernst’s battle against the oil and gas industry is both personal and political: Encana illegally fracked into aquifers near her home in Alberta’s badlands, causing methane gas to seep into drinking water, turning it into a flammable toxin, which Nikiforuk charges is not unusual behaviour for companies that frack (forcefully inject brine water into shales to release gas) across North America. In 14 gripping chapters, Nikiforuk follows Ernst’s multi-pronged assault on Big Energy, from hiring brass-knuckled lawyers, to exhaustively cataloguing the gas industry’s illegal shenanigans, to performing chemical tests on “slick water,” fracking’s toxic by-product. Nikiforuk peppers his rich narrative with a wealth of historical context about corruption in the industry he examines, making this book essential reading for every human whose soul is not clouded by methane or coated in oil.” –Publishers Weekly, November 2015

Publishers Weekly is a leading book industry trade publication and calls itself “The International News Source of Book Publishing and Bookselling.”

Contact Kathlene Carney at Carney & Associates to see how our publicity and media relations services can help promote your book or business.