Episode 166 Poisoned by Chemicals with Alan Bell

“Environmental Health is a new civil rights issue because it so often violates the rights of low-income people – often people of colour—more than the rights of any other population.” —​Alan Bell


Alan Bell was poisoned by a sick building.  It took years for him to realize what caused the damage to his body, and why there was no government regulations in place to protect people from chemicals.  After finally finding a diagnosis, and becoming well enough to leave his home, he began advocating for other in similar situations.  Teaming up with other top lawyers—including those portrayed in the films Erin Brockovich—he has helped other victims of environmental toxins.  His book “Poisoned: How a Crime-Busting Prosecutor Turned His Medical Mystery Into a Crusade For Environmental Victims,” tells his story, and explains why we aren’t being protected from these chemicals. 

Topics Covered in this episode:

  • What inspired you to write this book?
  • How was your life before you got sick?
  • What happened when your illness started?
  • What were doctors saying?
  • What were you like at your sickest?
  • How did you figure out what was going on?
  • What did you have to do to get better?
  • How did this affect your family?
  • How did this affect you?
  • What eventually got you better?
  • How did if feel when you had a somewhat normal life?
  • What did you start to do to raise awareness about Environmental toxins?
  • What more did you learn as you dived into the world?
  • What stories have you heard from others?
  • Where are these chemicals coming from?
  • How is the average person exposed to Environmental toxins?
  • Doesn’t our government/s protect us from the chemicals?
  • Aren’t the chemicals studied to show if they are toxic?
  • What illnesses/symptoms are related to Environmental toxins?
  • People used to think it was safe to drink pesticides, is that not the case?
  • What protections are in place in these industries?
  • Aren’t our personal care products safety tested?
  • Do we need to make changes if we don’t think we are affected by chemicals?
  • What can people do at home to protect themselves and their families?
  • What can someone do if they have been affected and need help?
  • How can someone get ahold of you/website/book?