Other Resources

In the Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), produced by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), these chemicals are listed (among many others): mineral oil, petrolatum, and lanolin. “Cosmetic carcinogens” can be searched in TOXNET, a cluster of databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, and related areas, which is produced by the NLM. In a search in March 2003, I found 316 records on this subject in TOXLINE Special and 403 records in HSDB.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains a site called “Ten Tips to Protect Children From Pesticide and Lead Poisoning” (in English: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/child-ten-tips.htm and in Spanish: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/child-ten-tips-esp.htm

So-called “signal words” govern the description of chemical products in the U.S. They are “Caution,” “Warning,” and “Danger.” Toxic ingredients are found in drain cleaners, oven cleaners, laundry detergents, floor and furniture polishes, paints, and pesticides. For more information, go to the following federal Web sites: www.epa.gov, www.cpsc.gov, and www.osha.gov.

Interesting side note: On October 16, 2001, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted unanimously to require child-resistant packaging for some common household products and cosmetics containing hydrocarbons that can poison children. “We know that child-resistant packaging saves lives,” said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. “But since the packaging is child-resistant, not child-proof, parents also need to keep baby oil and other potentially poisonous substances locked up out of reach of young children.” The new poison prevention packaging for affected products containing hydrocarbons was to be in use by October 2002.

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