19 results for author: Patricia Nance


Worried about the measles outbreak and the safety of vaccines?

The National Acadamies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine have recently established a vaccine safety website that provides clear, concise, and evidence-based answers to questions about vaccine safety.  It’s a must read if you have concerns.  We also encourage you to share it with others that may have similar concerns.

Basics of Dose and Exposure

By way of background, we suggest to first take a look at “All Natural!  All Safe? Everything is a Chemical!”   One key message there is that source or origin of a chemical usually tells you very little if anything about its toxicity or ability to cause harm.   Naturally occurring chemicals are not necessarily any more or less toxic than synthetic chemicals.   For example, grapes contain certain naturally-occurring chemicals that are considered to be part of a healthy diet.   Fermentation is a natural process involved when grape juices turn into wine but, as everyone knows, drinking excessive amounts of wine or any other alcoholic beverage ...

Toxicity Testing: Animals and Alternatives

This topic addresses the general approaches used to evaluate medicines, cosmetics, food additives, household products and other chemicals that workers and consumers are exposed to in their daily lives.   Why is testing necessary? The safety of chemicals must be evaluated to protect the health of the public and the environment.  Veterinary products are also tested to ensure safe use of products for our household pets and livestock.  Testing is required by government regulatory agencies and specific methods are recommended for a comprehensive evaluation before release to the consumer market.    Further testing of environmental samples using ...

Green Chemistry

Green Chemistry is a philosophy rather than a discipline, and the toxicologist has an important role in the implementation of this philosophy.   Broadly speaking, the goal of green chemistry is to reduce chemical pollution starting at the molecular level.  The 12 Principles of Green Chemistry, co-authored by John Warner and Paul Anastas in the mid-1990’s, laid out the framework for the “greening” of the field of chemistry.  By minimizing or eliminating the hazards related to raw materials, processes and products, adoption of the principles of Green Chemistry holds the promise of preventing pollution before it is created.  It is vitally ...

Venomous or Poisonous – Animals, Plants, Mushrooms, and More

Venomous animals, poisonous plants, mushrooms, and substances produced by microbes, inflict considerable damage to humans and other animals throughout the world.  In scientific lingo, the entire subject is referred to as toxinology and the injurious natural substances as toxins. Thus, toxinology is a subset of the broader discipline of toxicology, and toxins could be considered a sub-category of toxicants, which is the proper word to use more generally for hazardous substances. Venomous organisms use a specialized delivery system such as fangs to deliver their venom.  Venomous animals come in all sizes and shapes and can be found certainly among the ...

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

The introduction of foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in 1996 ignited much debate about their use. All foods created from GMOs and the potential environmental impacts of GMO crops are intensively assessed by regulatory agencies before each is approved.

Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity Hazards

Any chemical or other factor such as heat stress, radiation, infectious disease or improper diet that causes harm to an adult can interfere with reproduction or a child’s development.  But some factors can cause such harm to the developing child in the womb at doses or exposures lower than those that cause any obvious harm to a potential parent.  These factors are then designated as selective reproductive and/or developmental hazards.  Reproductive hazards can affect fertility by interfering with the normal development and function of the egg and sperm cells, interfering with the combining of those cells or making it less likely that a fertilized ...

What is Toxicology?

The Society of Toxicology defines toxicology as the study of the adverse effects of chemical, physical, or biological agents on people, animals, and the environment.  Toxicologists are scientists trained to investigate, interpret, and communicate the nature of those effects.   Most toxicologists focus on chemical agents, although some are experts about harmful effects of physical agents such as radiation.  Toxicology is an interdisciplinary science, integrating information from biology and virtually all of its subspecialties (e.g., genetics, endocrinology and molecular biology) as well as math, physics and chemistry and its subspecialties (e.g. ...

“Is It Safe?” Video – English with Japanese subtitles

TEF has developed and provides audiovisual materials for the public and for health professionals to use in presentations to the public in partnership with NIEHS and others in the private sector.  The goal of"Is It Safe?" is to empower the public to make good decisions about risk associated with every day products.  

“¿Es Seguro?” Video – Español

TEF has developed and provides audiovisual materials for the public and for health professionals to use in presentations to the public in partnership with NIEHS and others in the private sector. The goal of "Is It Safe? Evaluating Chemical Risks" is to empower the public to make good decisions about risk associated with every day products.