Wednesday, October 20, 2010

chemicals in everyday items (potentially harmful)

There is an article in the Wall Street Journal on Monday that caught my eye. Actually the entire Personal Journal section caught my interest: emphasis on green energy. Since I teach alternative energy sources in my class this section was an opportunity for me to update my knowledge on the subject.

The article (click on link for article) has a list of chemicals in a table with the corresponding product in which they are found. I'm going to go check out my personal food containers after reading this article because apparently I have to watch out for dibutyl phthalate.

This brings me full circle to my concerns about sulfuryl fluoride (not mentioned in the article) that is used for termite tenting. As a chemist I know that both sulfur and fluorine have some nasty properties as individual elements. And- the fact that the compound is used to kill termites means it is toxic on some level. Will it end up on a list like this one twenty years from now? In the future will we talk about termite tenting and the harm it caused like we talk about the babies harmed by Thalidomide in the 70s? Or even asbestos? It's really scary to me.

I'm getting tented in December and I'm worried about it.