Household Products Database
From: Robina Suwol
Date: 09 Aug 2003
Remote Name: 188.8.131.52
HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS DATABASE
New Information Service Provides Information On Health and Safety of Everyday
BETHESDA, MARYLAND -- The National Institutes of Health today unveiled a
consumer's guide that provides easy-to-understand information on the potential
health effects of more than 2,000 ingredients contained in more than 4,000
common household products.
Some household products contain substances that can pose health risks if they
are ingested or inhaled, or if they come in contact with eyes and skin. The
National Library of Medicine's (NLM) Household Products Database (http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov
provides information in consumer friendly language on many of these substances
and their potential health effects. For more technical information users can
launch a search for a product or ingredient in TOXNET from the Product Page in
Information in the database is provided to NLM under a collaborative agreement
and is derived from publicly available sources, including brand-specific
labels and information provided by manufacturers and their Web sites. The list
of products covered will be expanded, and information for products currently
in the database will be updated at least annually.
"The Household Products Database is a natural outgrowth of the work that the
Library has done in recent years, educating the public about environmental
risks posed by chemicals in the air, soil and water," explained NLM Director
Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg. "Last year, we unveiled Tox Town (http://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov
a site that introduces consumers to the toxic chemicals and environmental
risks they might encounter in everyday life, in everyday places. Tox Town
looks at facilities like schools, office buildings and factories, and the
chemicals likely to be in them. With the Household Products site, we go inside
the user's home and provide information about common products and their
potential health effects."
The Household Products Database enables users to learn what's in the products
under the kitchen sink, in the garage, in the bathroom, and on the laundry
room shelf. It is designed to help answer questions such as:
-- What chemicals are contained in specific brands and in what percentage?
-- Which products contain specified chemicals?
-- Who manufactures a specific brand? How can I contact the manufacturer?
-- What are the potential health effects of the chemical ingredients in a
-- What other information is available about such chemicals in the
toxicology-related databases of the National Library of Medicine?
For example, a homeowner trying to decide which algae-killing product to use
in her swimming pool could select the "Landscape/Yard/Swimming Pool" category
in Household Products and click on "algaecide." She then could choose several
brands to examine for chemical content and possible health hazards.
The record for each product would show her the ingredients from something
called the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Designed to provide workers and
emergency personnel with the proper procedures for handling or working with a
particular substance, these sheets are produced by the manufacturer of the
product as required by Federal law.
NLM Associate Director for Specialized Information Services, Dr. Jack Snyder,
said, "NLM has provided an important set of databases for toxicologists and
other scientists for many years. The target audience of the Household Products
Database, however, is both scientists and the general public. The database
allows users to browse a product category, such as 'Pesticides' or 'Personal
Care,' by alphabetical listing or by brand name. Products can also be searched
by type, manufacturer, product ingredient, or chemical name.
Located in Bethesda, Maryland, the National Library of Medicine, the world's
largest library of the health sciences, is a component of the National
Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Library of Medicine
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 1, 2003
or Kathy Cravedi
Last changed: March 14, 2006