Nov 19, 2014

Environmental Enlightenment #130

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), based in Atlanta, Georgia, is a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ATSDR provides health information to prevent harmful exposures and diseases related to toxic substances. You can reach ATSDR at

The ATSDR ToxFAQs™ is a series of summaries about hazardous substances. Each fact sheet serves as a quick and easy to understand guide. Answers are provided to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about exposure to hazardous substances found around hazardous waste sites and the effects of exposure on human health. You can access ToxFAQs at

For example, Tetrachloroethylene is an industrial solvent responsible for contamination of groundwater aquifers and pollution of indoor environments by vaporizing from contaminated subsurface soils. Click on the above link to connect directly to the ToxFAQS related summary.

A small problem with the site is that it does not respond to synonyms. Tetrachloroethylene is also known as Perc, PCE, tetrachloroethene, and perchloroethylene. However, the site responds to search only under “Tetrachloroethylene.” If you do not find a chemical by the name known to you, (e.g., PCE), you can try to find synonyms on the Internet. For example, a search for “PCE synonyms” will yield good results.


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