Investigate and Assess Your Home Chemicals
Identify one product that you use for each of the categories on the Home Chemicals activity sheet. If you do not use a particular category of product, simply enter the phrase “do not use” and explain why. For example, if you do not use pet care products, enter â€œdo not useâ€ in the â€œProduct Nameâ€ column and â€œdo not have a petâ€ in the â€œWhat the Warning Saysâ€ column.
For each product identified that you do use, indicate the following:
The product name
What the product does, also known as the product â€œserviceâ€
Whether there is some type of warning about using the product.
What the warning says.
Answer questions 1 & 2 on the activity sheet when you have completed the inventory.
After doing this, select three products from your household product list which you think may be â€œhazardousâ€ based on the warnings listed on the products. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines hazardous as any material that is ignitable, corrosive, explosive, or toxic to humans, plants or animals. List the three products on the Activity Sheet.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) maintains a database that contains a wide variety of information on over 5,000 consumer products. Information contained in the database includes the chemical ingredients, the manufacturer and contact information, as well as any possible acute and chronic effects associated with the chemicals that make up the products.
Go to the NIH Household Products Database. In the Quick Search box on the right side of the screen. Look up the first potentially hazardous product you have listed. Scroll down the page until you come to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) link and click on the link. Follow the directions on the remainder of the Activity Sheet and answer the questions.
Home Chemicals activity sheet (DOCX)
EVR1001C: Home Chemicals Activity Sheet
What Product Does
Warning(yes / no)
What the Warning Says
Arts & Crafts
Inside the Home
Landscape & Yard
1) Was this inventory difficult to complete? Why or why not?
2) Are you surprised by the results of the inventory? If so, in what way?
Potentially Hazardous Products
1) What does the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) describe?
2) What does the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) describe?
3) Does the MSDS provide any health effects or first aid information?
4) Does the MSDS provide any health effects or first aid information?
5) Are MSDS relevant to consumers?
Click the â€œBackâ€ link on your browser to go back to the NIH website and scroll down the site until you come to the link that says HMIS Rating Scale. Click on the link and answer the following questions.
7) What kind of information does the HMIS convey?
8) What are the three types of hazard information provided by the HMIS?
9) What is the scale that is used to communicate the level of severity for acute exposures and what does each rating mean?
Click the â€œBackâ€ link on your browser to go back to the first productâ€™s ranking and answer the following questions.
12) What is the health rating for your product?
13) What does that rating mean?
14) What is the flammability rating for your product?
15) What does that rating mean?
16) What is the reactivity rating for your product?
17) What does that rating mean?
Now scroll up the site until you come to the section marked acute health effects and chronic health effects. Answer the following questions.
18) What does the website say about any acute health effects from the product?
19) What does the website say about any chronic health effects from the product?
20) Do you know the difference between an acute and chronic health effect? If so, what is it?
21) Based on your research/analysis, how hazardous is the product?
Go back to the NIH website and research your other two products. If a product you selected is not listed, pick another product from your original list of eight. At the conclusion of this step in the exercise, you should have looked up and found results for 3 products.
22) Rank order your 3 products based on your assessment of how hazardous they are and list below from most to least hazardous.
23) Explain you answer. Why did you choose the ranking that you did?
24) How comprehensive do you feel the information provided by the website is regarding the hazardous nature of household products?
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