Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Welcome to Toxic Town!

So the current topic of this blog is Toxins in Building Materials.  And here is a perfect site for learning more about environmental toxins where we all live, work and play:

This interactive website by the National Institutes of Health is “point and click” ready to show you all the possible toxins that are lurking in your home.  Presented with colorful cartoon graphics, you can click on different buildings in the town and a pop up screen will list the “Chemical Hot Spots”.  For example, in your home, it may be asbestos, carbon monoxide, phthalates, PVC, solvents or VOC’s.  Schools have many of the same chemical risks. 

Working in conjunction with the National Library of Medicine, links about the various risk areas are provided, such as Asthma in Children, Molds and School Health and many more.  Click on the Offices/Stores building in the Town, and you’ll learn that the Dry Cleaners are a known source of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE’s).   Or that Phthalates, a group of chemicals used to soften and increase flexibility of plastic and vinyl, are used in hundreds of consumer products and can be found in food packaging (at the Deli in the Town) and even medical equipment (at the Doctors Office in the Town).

During your visit to Toxic Town, you can also learn about toxins in drinking water, factories, schools and even public parks.  And there are other locations to explore, including Toxic City, Toxic Farm, Toxic Ports, and more.  The site is designed for public use and also provides a valuable teaching resource for K-12 teachers.  It’s really easy to navigate and use, and full of up-to-date and accurate information about toxins in our built environments.  Our government dollars at work...and it's a good thing!

And be sure the volume is turned up…even the sounds of the farm and the town are included!

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