In the Classroom


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 ...

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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.  ...

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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, interf...

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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 ...

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“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.  

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“¿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.  

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ToxRAP™

TEF has contributed to the development and distribution of curriculum materials, including Toxicology, Risk Assessment and Pollution (ToxRAP™) curriculum handouts on risk assessment and product safety.   ToxRAP™ materials still available online can be found at http://web.sph.rutgers.edu/toxrweb/k3_about_frameset.html. After NIEHS charged its funded research centers to develop educational outreach materials, TEF proposed to leverage this large government investment by distributing selected exemplary units of these curriculum materials and implementing national ...

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“Is it Safe?” Written Primer

TEF has produced a written primer to stand alone or work in conjunction with "Is It Safe?"to educate the public on the safe use of chemicals. We aim to distribute these materials to groups who will benefit from the knowledge we can provide. The materials will also help toxicologists give presentations to the general public.      

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