Chemicals Around You
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Note Question for Discussion "Q:" Below
Everyday you use or come in contact with a number of chemical substances. They are:
- components of auto products;
- used in the home (for maintenance and office work);
- used in personal care, in arts and crafts, and in pet care, and
- used in landscaping (for example, pesticides).
You may not have much information about these products, or their ingredients, manufacturers, and health effects.
The National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine maintains the Household Products Database with a wealth of information about these chemicals around you. The Database is “. . . where you can learn more about what is under your kitchen sink, in your garage, in your bathroom, and on the shelves in your laundry room.”
The Database links over 7,000 consumer brands to health effects from Material Safety Data Sheets provided by manufacturers. It allows scientists and consumers to research products based on chemical ingredients. The database is designed to help answer the following typical questions:
- What are the chemical ingredients and their percentage in specific brands?
- Which products contain specific chemical ingredients?
- Who manufactures a specific brand? How do I contact this manufacturer?
- What are the acute and chronic effects of chemical ingredients in a specific brand?
- What other information is available about chemicals in the toxicology-related databases of the National Library of Medicine?
Q: How useful do you find this type of information resource in informing how you use and handle the chemicals around you?