Wednesday, September 5, 2007

What IS that Stuff ... Checking Suspicious Chemicals

There are tons of strange chemicals, drugs and other suspicious materials around you; how do you find out if they are hazardous? I'm a great advocate for looking up health effects of the food additives listed on packaging labels, your prescription drugs and other chemicals around you, but you may not know where to start. Here are a few clues:
  • Check out the Material Safety Data Sheet or MSDS. Any chemical used in manufacturing must have an MSDS so workers and employers know how to handle it safely. A quick google search for 'chemname' MSDS will usually get a few hits with material data safety sheets for the chemical. If not, dig deeper and expect to find problems.
  • Contact the manufacturer and ask about published information and health studies.
  • Search on-line, or better still, get help from a librarian. (Yes, there really are still librarians out there)

If you find WAY too much contradictory information to draw a conclusion, dig deeper; you may find books on the stuff, and you may be inspired to do some serious reading. I promise you this- research a few food additives or household chemicals this way, and you'll learn far more than just the answers than you were looking for. You will start to understand the stuff you put in your body. There's a powerful education waiting for you, and it can change your life!

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