Debra's List Debra Lynn Dadd

Toxic Chemicals

These links will help you find out more about toxic chemicals in consumer products and their health effects. If you want to know what regulated toxic chemicals are in specific products, get the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the product from the manufacturer, or one of the MSDS databases listed here

BodyBurden - The Pollution in People
A study in which researchers measured the blood and urine of nine volunteers for toxic chemicals, led by Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York in collaboration with the Environmental Working Group and Commonweal. They found an average of 91 industrial compounds, pollutants, and other chemicals each person. Volunteers led average daily lives and did not work with chemicals on the job or live near an industrial factory. This site gives the details of the study and their findings.
BodyBurden2 - The Pollution in Newborns
A report by Environmental Working Group that shows significant toxic chemcials presence in the blood of newborns. Analysis of 10 samples of umbilical-cord blood taken by the American Red Cross found an average of 287 contaminants in the blood, including mercury, fire retardants, pesticides, plastics, and other common toxic chemicals. Of the 287 chemicals detected, 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.

The Executive Summary of the report says:

Not long ago scientists thought that the placenta shielded cord blood — and the developing baby — from most chemicals and pollutants in the environment. But now we know that at this critical time when organs, vessels, membranes and systems are knit together from single cells to finished form in a span of weeks, the umbilical cord carries not only the building blocks of life, but also a steady stream of industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides that cross the placenta as readily as residues from cigarettes and alcohol. This is the human "body burden" — the pollution in people that permeates everyone in the world, including babies in the womb.

The report is based on tests of 10 samples of umbilical-cord blood taken by the American Red Cross. They found an average of 287 contaminants in the blood, including mercury, fire retardants, pesticides, plastics, and other common toxic chemicals. Of the 287 chemicals detected, 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.
A list of links to medical research on health disorders resulting from petroleum-based chemicals used in consumer products and job environments. "Petroleum based chemicals are being found to cause significant attritional effects to the nervous system and immune system after prolonged exposure. Illnesses identified in the medical research include adult and child cancers, numerous neurological disorders, immune system weakening, autoimmune disorders, asthma, allergies, infertility, miscarriage, and child behavior disorders including learning disabilities, mental retardation, hyperactivity and ADD (attention deficit disorders)." Data is documented studies found in medical libraries, compiled by a doctor and an educator.
Collaborative on Health and the Environment Toxicant and Disease Database
A searchable database that summarizes links between chemical contaminants and approximately 180 human diseases or conditions. Browse by specific disease, disease catagory or by a very long list of toxicants. This database is maintained by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, "a diverse partnership network of individuals and organizations working collectively to advance knowledge and effective action to address growing concerns about the links between human health and environmental factors." In addition to the database, they also have various activities to participate in around the study of various toxic chemicals and illnesses.
Deadly Immunity: An Epidemic of Autism from Mercury in Immunizations
An article by Robert Kennedy Jr., originally published in Rolling Stone magazine, which tells how 500,000 children now suffer from autism due to the mercury-based preservative thimerosal given to them in ordinary routine vaccinations. Fortunately, this preservative is no longer used in vaccines, but during the years in which it was used--1989 to 2003--the rate of autism in children skyrocketed from one in every 2500 children to one in 166 children. The tragic part is that this preservative was known to be toxic from the very beginning...
Environmental Health News
A daily newsletter that publishes stories related to emerging scientific links between environmental exposures and human health. They scour the world press for stories about environmental health, including: chemical contamination, water quantity and quality, air pollution, sewage, genetic engineering, and the like, as well as climate change and biodiversity stories with a health dimension. Sources are newspapers, magazines, scientific journals and science magazines.
Environmental Working Group Skin Deep
A comprehensive detailed anlaysis of ingredients found in personal care products. You can look up a product, such as "toothpaste," for example, and find out
  • brand name products you may want to avoid (which you can then click on for a full safety analysis
  • brand name "better choices"
  • general areas of health concern for that type of product
  • top twenty ingredients of concern for that type of product
Or you can look up a single ingredient and find out it's general safety or danger. This is the place to look up any ingredient of concern in personal care products.
EPA Design for the Environment Program Green Chemistry Program
"Supports using 'benign by design' principles in the design, manufacture, and use of chemicals and chemical processes...that prevent pollution in both a scientifically sound and cost-effective manner." Their logo on products means that their "review team has screened each ingredient in the product for potential human health and environmental effects and that--based on currently available information, predictive models, and expert judgment--the product contains only those ingredients that pose the least concern among chemicals in their class." Click on "Partners" for a list of their approved products.
EXTOXNET - The EXtension TOXicology NETwork
Easy-to-understand, objective, science-based information about pesticides - written for consumers. Their Pesticide Information Profiles (PIPs) give trade names, regulatory status, description, health effects, and environmental effects for common pesticides. A project of the Cooperative Extension Offices of Cornell University, Oregon State University, the University of Idaho, and the University of California at Davis and the Institute for Environmental Toxicology, Michigan State University. Major funding provided by the USDA/Extension Service/National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program.
Green Home Toxipedia
A "place to come for definitions and explanations of environmental terms of all types." Definitions are simple and straightforward. User-friendly.
Greenpeace International PVC Alternatives Database
The introduction to this database has a great explanation about the toxicity of plastics, and PVC in particular. Database contains pvc-free construction products.
Healthy Child Healthy World
Healthy Child Healthy World is dedicated to protecting the health and well being of children from harmful environmental exposures. We educate parents, support protective policies, and engage communities to make responsible decisions, simple everyday choices, and well-informed lifestyle improvements to create healthy environments where children and families can flourish.(formerly known as CHEC)
Indoor Air Quality in Schools
The National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities Resource List contains over 250 links to references on hazardous indoor air exposures to children in schools, the specific health effects they have on children, and how you can help your child's school improve their indoor air quality. If you have a child in school or know someone who does, please take a look at this.
Lifekind Chemical Glossary
A well organized and easy-to-read list of chemical ingredients found in many household products, their health effects, and what kind of products the chemicals are found in.
MSDS Solutions
Free access to over 1 million MSDSs from over 15,000 manufacturers. Can search by specific product or generic item.
National Safety Council
Their mission is "To educate and influence society to adopt safety, health and environmental policies, practices and procedures that prevent and mitigate human suffering and economic losses arising from preventable causes." This includes protection from toxic exposures as well as safety hazards. See their Resources section for Chemical Backgrounders and other fact sheets on toxics.
Our Stolen Future
This follow-up site to the groundbreaking book of the same title contains ongoing updates regarding endocrine disrupting chemicals and their health and environmental effects, including links to scientific studies. " These pages are being revised constantly, as new reports on endocrine disruption--basic science, human epidemiology, wildlife impacts, etc.--are added almost daily to the scientific literature."
Pollution in People
The results of a study done in Washington state In 2005 in which the hair, blood, and urine of ten Seattle residents were tested by the Toxic-Free Legacy Coalition for the presence of toxic chemicals. The Coalition wanted to know which chemicals were getting into our bodies, and at what levels, to better understand the potential harm posed by poor regulation of chemicals, and to develop better solutions. Six groups of chemicals were tested: phthalates, PBDEs, heavy metals (lead, arsenic, and mercury) perfluorinated chemicals, pesticides, PCBs and DDT. The results: "Every person tested had at least 26 and as many as 39 of the toxic chemicals we looked for in his or her body. This pollution in people came from everyday activities and products."
PVC - The Poison Plastic
A very informative site about the dangers of polyvinyl chloride plastic--"one of the most hazardous consumer products ever created" and the safer alternatives. Resources include a list of products containing PVC that might be in your home, info on plant-based plastic alternatives, and an entertaining 3-minute educational video "Sam Suds and the Case of PVC, the Poison Plastic."
Enter your zip code to find out what pollutants are being released into your community, and who is responsible. Choose "Toxic Releases from Industrial Facilities (TRI)" from the menu. In this section you can find the pollutants in your area, rank your area by various criteria, learn about the health effects of the chemicals and their regulatory controls. Other data maps include air pollutants, lead hazards, Superfund land contamination, animal waste from factory farms, Clean Water Act status, and watershed indicators. Site created by Environmental Defense.
Scorecard Chemical Profiles
A service of the environmental group Environmental Defense, this website provides detailed information on more than 11,000 chemicals their health effects, and regulations, including all the chemicals used in large amounts in the United States and all the chemicals regulated under major environmental laws.
Seventh Generation
Their free, 51-page Guide to a Toxin-Free Home is an easy-to-read introduction to toxic chemicals in the home, including a good list of toxic chemicals and their health effects. Of course, my book Home Safe Home is on their list of recommended reading, "This book is great!"
Short List of Common MSDS Sheets
This list was put together by a construction safety company. It's easier to use than the databases, but contains fewer items. Check here first if you are looking for the MSDS of a common product.
Sick of Dust
A study released in March 2005 shows that seven groups of toxic chemicals--phthalates, alkylphenols, pesticides, polybrominated diphenyl esters, organotines, and perfluorinated chemicals--were found to be present in the vacuum dust of all sample homes tested. Most significant to me was that phthalates, which are used primarily as plasticizers for polyvinyl chloride plastics (PVC)--also known as "vinyl"--made up nearly 90 percent of the total concentration of chemicals found in the dust. A coalition of groups from seven states are calling for greater government education and response from industry.
State of California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)
The mission of this office is "to protect and enhance public health and the environment by scientific evaluation of risks posed by hazardous substances." This website contains extensive information on the health and environmentaleffects of toxic substances, exposure warnings, and more.
A series of quick and easy to understand summaries about exposure to hazardous substances found around hazardous waste sites and the effects of exposure on human health. Developed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Division of Toxicology. Excerpted from the ATSDR Toxicological Profiles and Public Health Statements. Enter the name of the chemical you are looking for in the seach box.

Really Green

Learn how to tell the difference between products with real environmental and health benefits from those with misleading green hype, in my new book Really Green

Gold Star = gold star

Earthwise = earthwise

Natural = natural

nontoxic = nontoxic

fair trade = fair trade

caters to MCS = caters to MCS

associates = associate

Brand Name Product

= Business Sponsor

New Hot Water Heater - Metallic Fumes

4 Year Old Memory Foam Mattress

oven cleaner removal

Prefinished Oak Wood Flooring

CFC in refrigerator

removing Armour All odor, car air filter

Visions Cookware

DRY-LOC water proofing paint and exotic parrots

Polyurethane Carpet Padding/Cushion and Outgassing

EMFs in the fuse box and LED and LCD Tv's

covering a particle board cupboard

composting toilet

mcs mask

Water Cooler Jug

Fused Bags


Safety of orange or citrus cleaners, insect repellant, solvent, etc.

removing rust and painting an old refrigerator

Non-Toxic Way to Clean mortar from new Brick on house without getting into garden?

L. A. Times: In Search of A Nontoxic Home

Flame preventing chemicals in beds

Fabri-coate fabric protector

Bathroom remodel HELP!

Question on MDF furniture & gassing off

Cotton Field Poisons


auto/car windshield replacement adhesive VOCs

Formaldehyde fumes

neoprene dumbbells

help! Cell phone melted in oven... what to do?

alternative to naval jelly

Refurbishing bathtubs

Green Friends and Home Help

New car outgas interior

Do Plastics Off-Gas?

chemical smell from not-so-recently refinished wood floors

Dangers of Rubbing Alcohol

Removing recently laid carpet

Food Grade Polyethylene Containers

Kevlar and EMF's

Fiberglass swimming pools

Ink or paper used in printing books, newspapers etc

European Chemical Clampdown Reaches Across Atlantic

lead in power cord

vinyl posters

Toxic Chemicals in Products

Sleep Number Bed?

Formaldehyde by any other just as bad...

non toxic tent?

Barbeque Blues

ceiling fan it toxic

tarnished jewelry safe

recycled rubber

Toxic Metals

random plastics

What we pick up on our shoes

Ikea particle board furniture

Bisphenol-A in Other Household Plastics

Ethyl Mercaptan

How do I seal caulk I'm sensitive to?

Take Back My TV

how toxic are moth balls?

Petroleum distillate on butcher block


husband swims and smells like chlorine

Safe Light Therapy

Hand Sanitizer

Vegetable Stearic Acid

Food Safe Refinishing of salad bowl

Properly Disposing of Dangerous Fabric Protector

Silicone Ice Cube Trays

How Long It Takes for VOCs to Outgas

Installing new hardwood

granite countertop sealer (a safe one)


What can I do with newly finished shelves to prevent offgassing?

Are pre-finished hardwood floors OK?

hard wood floor finish offgassing

colored glass

question about freezing plastics

The Toxicity of Plastic

HELP! Outgassing after removing 10 years old floor vinyl sheeting?

old crocks: lead in glaze?

Baking soda

Smell in Comforter- Vinyl casing it comes in?

Long-term effects of formaldehyde exposure

Windshield Wiper Fluid - Non-toxic

asbestos ceiling

Car repair and painting

How do I find the major toxins in my home?

Aluminum safety

Hydrogen Peroxide Hazard?

flooring questions

non or low toxic shower pan liner adhesive?

Petroleum Distillates and Petrochemicals

PVC boots sneakers & clothing offgassing

Sewer gas exposure


Hair Dryers and Lead on Power Cords

Lead on Power Cords

Read about how new studies show household toxics really are toxic on page 9 of Home Safe Home.

Step-by-step instructions on how to create your own safe home beginning on page 16 of Home Safe Home.

Learn about immediate and long-term poisoning on page 18 of Home Safe Home.

Learn just how many chemicals we are exposed to on page 20 of Home Safe Home.

Find out the various ways chemicals can get into our bodies on page 21 of Home Safe Home.

Find out how our bodies process toxic chemicals on page 23 of Home Safe Home.

Find out how to determine if a product is toxic for you, beginning on page 24 of Home Safe Home.

Learn how to identify and safely dispose of any products considered to be household hazardous waste, beginning on page 43 of Home Safe Home.

Read about the health effects of chemicals we are commonly exposed to, page 434

Copyright ©2007 Debra Lynn Dadd - all rights reserved.
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