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Toxic Chemicals and Safety

Get information that will help you be safe in the chemistry lab. You'll aso find facts on toxic chemicals and dangerous mixtures.
  1. Chemical Weapons
  2. Lab Safety (16)
  3. MSDSs
  4. Material Safety Data She...
  5. Safety Signs and Symbols (9)
  6. Toxic Chemicals (49)

What Is a Toxic Chemical?
You've heard that toxic chemicals are bad for you, but what exactly is a toxic chemical? Here's an explanation of what is meant by the term "toxic chemical" as well as examples of common toxic chemicals you may have in your home.

Dangerous Household Chemicals
Many common household chemicals are dangerous. They may be reasonably safe when used as directed, yet contain toxic chemicals or degrade over time into a more dangerous chemical. Here's a list of some of the most dangerous household chemicals, including the ingredients to watch for and the nature of the risk.

Accidental Poisonings
There are some household chemicals you just shouldn't mix and numerous ways to accidentally poison yourself. Do you have an accidental poisoning story to share? Have you ever mixed chemicals with a disastrous result? Be sure to offer any advice that would help prevent others from repeating your mistake.See submissions

Chemistry Laboratory Safety Rules
Make your chemistry laboratory experience safe by following these simple rules.

Science Laboratory Safety Signs
This is a collection of safety signs and symbols commonly seen in a science laboratory, particularly a chemistry lab.

Lab Accidents and Safety Violations
Do you have any tales to tell of lab experiments gone very wrong or lab accidents you have witnessed? What is the most dangerous thing you have ever seen someone do in a lab? Here's your chance to share.

Lab Accidents and Lab Stories
Do you have any tales to tell of lab experiments gone very wrong or lab accidents you have witnessed? What is the most dangerous thing you have ever seen someone do in a lab? Here's your chance to share.

Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetics
Some of the ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products are chemicals that may be hazardous to your health. Take a look at some of the ingredients to watch for and the health concerns raised by these chemicals.

Common Household Chemicals - Dangerous Mixtures
Labs have lists of chemicals that don't go together, but it isn't as easy to avoid dangerous mixtures with home chemicals because they aren't pure substances. Here's some help. Be safe and don't mix these common household chemicals.

Hazard Symbol Quiz
This fun multiple choice quiz tests your recognition of lab safety signs and symbols. If you fail this quiz you might want to avoid the chem lab until after you have reviewed the meanings of the signs.

Is It Safe to Use Kitchen Glassware for Chemistry?
Is it safe to use your kitchen glassware and utensils for chemistry experiments? Here's a look at some of the risks involved in using your dishes for chemistry.

Can You Drink Too Much Water?
It's important to drink plenty of fluids, but can you overdo it? Learn the truth about water intoxication and hyponatremia.

Can You Use Laundry Detergent in the Dishwasher?
Yes, you could put laundry detergent in your dishwasher. Should you? Probably not. Here's why.

Can Your Hair Turn White from Fright or Turn Gray Overnight?
Is it true your hair can turn white from a bad scare or that your hair can turn gray overnight? Learn about your haircolor and get the answer to the question.

Chemistry of Hazardous Materials, 5th Edition Review
This is a review of Chemistry of Hazardous Materials, 5th Edition by Eugene Meyer.

Chemical Weapons and Warfare Agents
Get basic information about chemical weapons and learn what you can do to protect yourself in the event of a chemical attack.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide detectors and carbon monoxide alarms protect you from toxic carbon monoxide gas. Learn how carbon monoxide detectors and alarms work.

Crystal Meth Facts
Learn what crystal meth is, why people take crystal meth, how it's made, and what risks are associated with using methamphetamine.

Do Apple Seeds Contain Poison?
Apples, along with cherries, peaches and almonds, are members of the rose family. The seeds of apples and these other fruits contain natural chemicals that are toxic to some animals. Are they poisonous to humans? Here's a look at the toxicity of apple seeds.

How Do Safety Matches Work?
Learn about how safety matches work and why they are considered 'safe'.

How to Dispose of Mercury
Mercury is an extremely toxic metal that is found in fluorescent light bulbs, mercury thermometers, and other household items. If you break a thermometer or a mercury-containing bulb, it's important to dispose of the mercury properly so that you don't accidentally poison yourself or contaminate the area with mercury.

How to Make Aspirin - Acetylsalicylic Acid
Learn how to synthesize aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid, from salicyclic acid. Get information about the history of aspirin, the effects of salicylates, and see the structures of the reactants.

Incompatible Chemical Mixtures
Here's a list of chemicals that you don't want to accidentally mix, together with brief statements about the expected reactions. Use this information to avoid accidents and ensure safe storage and handling of potentially dangerous substances, both at work and at home.

Laboratory Safety Quiz
Are you a safe scientist or a menace to yourself and others in the chemistry lab? Here's a ten question quiz you can take to test yourself. It's sarcastic and maybe even a little mean, but... some accidents just shouldn't happen.

Mixing Bleach and Ammonia
Mixing bleach and ammonia is extremely dangerous, since toxic vapors will be produced. The primary toxic chemical formed by the reaction is chloramine vapor, with a potential for hydrazine formation. Here's a look at the chemical reactions involved in mixing bleach and ammonia, as well as some first aid advice if you accidentally become exposed to a bleach and ammonia mixture.

Mixing Bleach and Vinegar
Mixing bleach and vinegar is a bad idea. Toxic chlorine gas is released, which essentially serves as a way to wage chemical warfare on yourself. Many people mix bleach and vinegar, knowing it's dangerous, but either underestimating the risk or else hoping for increased cleaning power. Here's what you should know about mixing bleach and vinegar,...

Ricin and RCA - Castor Bean Toxins
Learn about ricin and RCA, the two potent toxins from the castor bean plant. Information is provided about the action, symptoms, and treatment of ricin and RCA poisoning.

Tattoo Ink Chemistry
Tattoo inks aren't regulated by the US FDA, so what you don't know can hurt you. This 3-part article examines the pigments, carriers, and other chemistry-related issues concerning tattoo inks and their toxicity. Instructions for making your own tattoo ink are provided.

Using Material Safety Data Sheets
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) aren't just for chemists! From your About Chemistry Guide, this tutorial for the non-technical consumer defines MSDSs, describes why you should know how to use them, tells how to find them, and outlines typical uses. Links to related topics are included.

Vitamins May Hurt Your Health
Your multivitamin may contain more or less nutrients than you think, plus may include some nasty contaminants.

Ways to Lower Fluoride Exposure
Fluoride isn't only found in toothpaste and water. There are many everyday sources and several steps you can take to lower your exposure.

What Are the Elements in the Human Body?
Do you know the chemical composition of the human body? Here's the list of elements, given in percentage according to weight.

What Causes Rigor Mortis?
Dead bodies are sometimes referred to as 'stiffs' for a reason! Learn what rigor mortis is and find out why it happens.

What Is Activated Charcoal and How Does it Work?
Activated charcoal isn't the same as your average barbeque briquette! It's a special type of carbon. Learn what activated charcoal is and why it is used in filters and medicines.

What Is the Most Poisonous Chemical Compound?
How poisonous something is depends a lot on how it's administered and a several other factors, but this list will give you a general look at some of the most toxic substances known to man.

What Is the World's Most Venomous Insect?
The most venomous insect isn't some rare, exotic rain forest creature. You may have them in your own yard. Can you name guess what it is?

What Makes Lead Poisonous?
You probably know that lead is toxic, but do you know what makes it poisonous? Here's an explanation of what lead does in your body that makes it such a health hazard.

What You Need to Know about Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America. Carbon monoxide detectors are available, but you need to understand how they work and what their limitations are in order to decide whether or not you need a detector and, if you purchase a detector, how to use it to get the best protection.

Why I Oppose Fluoridation of Public Drinking Water
Anne Helmenstine's reasons for opposing the fluoridation of public drinking water.

Bleach and Alcohol Make Chloroform
Mixing bleach and alcohol is a bad idea because the chemicals react to make chloroform. Here's a look at what happens and the risks associated with mixing these chemicals.

Toxic Chemicals from Peeing in the Pool
Learn about the toxic chemicals produced by urine in treated swimming pool water.

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