Chemical Index

Wonder whether the chemical used in your pet's flea collar is safe? Or if that sweet smell from a new shower curtain is of concern? Use our searchable Chemical Index to learn about chemicals commonly used in everyday products, find out what the health concerns and sources of exposure are, and how to stay safe.

These natural bug-killing chemicals, extracted from chrysanthemum flowers, can be less harmful to humans than other pesticides but depending on how they are used, can pose risks...
Dioxins are long-lived toxic chemicals that have invaded every living creature in every region of the world. 
Fluoride dental products help fights cavities but drinking it can be harmful.
An industrial chemical used to make plastics, styrene is harmful to the nervous system and a possible carcinogen.
1,4-dioxane is a hazardous chemical sometimes found in shampoos, cosmetics, and other household products.
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Paraben preservatives are widely used in makeup, moisturizers, shampoos and conditioners, and shaving products but they have hormone-like activities and questions remain about...
Pyrethroid pesticides have the potential to harm the health of your family, pets, stream life, and beneficial insects.
Diesel engine exhaust from older diesel engines contains a harmful mix of particles and gases, but new diesel engines have advanced pollution controls that eliminate more than 90...
Used to dry-clean clothes, perchloroethylene (PERC) is a danger not only to dry-cleaning workers but also consumers who bring dry-cleaned clothes into their homes.
Methylene chloride is used widely in many industrial processes and is an ingredient in many consumer products, including spray shoe polish, water repellents, spot removers, wood...
U.S. industries release thousands of pounds of arsenic, a known carcinogen, into the environment each year, most of it from the manufacture and application of arsenic as a wood...
Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral known for its fire-and heat-resistant properties, was commonly used in insulation and home building materials until the 1970s, when it was...
Nanomaterials, used widely in consumer products including clothing, sunscreen, cosmetics, personal care and baby care products, are so small they can enter the lungs, pass through...
Ozone is the main component of smog. Spikes in ozone pollution have been linked to thousands of premature deaths each year.
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Sulfur dioxide, emitted by coal-fired power plants into the air, contributes to the formation of acid rain which has harmed aquatic ecosystems, and to increased respiratory...
Hexavalent chromium (a.k.a. hex chrome or chromium-6) is a metal used in a number of industrial processes including chrome plating, steel production, paint and cement making....
N-hexane, a solvent common in many home maintenance and arts and crafts products, such as spray adhesives, contact cement, paints and stain removers, is a toxic chemical that...
Perchlorate is a hormone-disrupting chemical used in rocket fuel. It contaminates the drinking water of more than 20 million Americans.
Trichloroethylene (TCE) is used as a solvent and degreaser and is a common ingredient in many household products like paints, adhesives and spot removers. A problem air and water...
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen used in many consumer products and building materials.
Often referred to simply as "Tris," the flame retardants - TDCP (Tris (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate) and TCEP (Tris (2-chloroethyl) phosphate) - are used in baby products,...
Atrazine is an herbicide widely used in large-scale agriculture, primarily on corn. It also is a potent hormone-disruptor; laboratory studies have shown that exposure at very low...
Carbaryl (trade name Sevin) is an insecticide that has been widely used agriculturally as well as for lawn and pet care. Carbaryl however is classfied as a likely human carcinogen...
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Chlorpyrifos (trade name Dursban) is a pesticide developed from a World World II-era nerve gas and is toxic to the nervous system. Though banned for home use, it is still allowed...
Endosulfan, an agricultural insecticide still used in China and India, is a hormone-disrupting chemical and is toxic to the nervous system.
Lindane is a hazardous insecticide used to treat head lice and scabies.
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Bisphenol A (BPA) is the primary component in polycarbonate plastic and is used in the resin lining of most food and beverage cans. Exposure to BPA, a hormone-mimicking compound,...
Lead, a heavy metal found in a variety of consumer products, can damage the developing brain and nervous system, lowing IQ and increasing hyperactivity.
Phthalates are a class of chemicals widely employed to make plastics more malleable and help lotions penetrate skin. A number of phthalates are known to cause birth defects or...
The insecticide propoxur, used in pet flea and tick collars, is a known human carcinogen and is toxic to the nervous system.
Tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP) is an organophosphate pesticide used to kill fleas and ticks. It is a likely human carcinogen and is toxic to the nervous system.
Exposure to mercury, even at low levels, can cause neurological damage, memory and learning problems, and delays in speech and reading ability in children. Most people are exposed...
Triclosan and triclocarban are antibacterial chemicals commonly added to consumer products. In laboratory studies, they have been shown to disrupt hormones and can encourage the...