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The Internet has a huge amount of information on the toxic effects of chemicals. You can download MSDS sheet from several locations however it is best to obtain MSDS sheets directly from your employer. The National Library of Medicine has a number of searchable databases that will provide lists and brief descriptions of studies done on health effects of chemicals or industry types. EPA maintains a site where you can find less toxic chemical substitutes.
Selected papers from a symposium on metalworking fluids conducted in October 2002 have been published. The abstracts are available on line.
The symposium includes papers by Frank Mirer and Dennis O"Brien of the UAW Health and Safety Department, Ford, Chrysler and GM scientists, a NIOSH scientist reporting on a UAW-represented plant, as well as some by investigators supported by joint research funds. Paper topics include: review of air quality measurement techniques; mapping problem areas in the plant; respiratory health studies; fluid chemistry; and ventilation control methods. These data support our lawsuit to compel OSHA to resume efforts to set an MWF standard, and also were part of the UAW motivation to pursue the lawsuit.
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene Volume 18 Number 11 (2007-03-26)
Try the 'search" button at this site to look up chemicals by name and CAS #. Also available is the annual report on Carcinogens. The National Toxicology Program is a collaborative effort between several government agencies.(update 2.24.03)
From this page you can access the NIOSH publications and a topic index. Look for the NIOSH Pocket Guide on-line and the various criteria documents for chemical and process hazards.(update 2.24.03)
This is the online version of the NIOSH Pocket guide to Chemical hazards. This is a a good source for Personal Protective Equipment.(update 2.24.03)
ATSDR was funded to study the health effects of chemicals that are found in contaminated sites. Check out ToxFAQs for quick synpsis of health effects. Check out the Minimum Risk Levels (MRLs) and compare these to OSHA PELS!(update 2.24.03)
PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine, provides access to over 12 million MEDLINE citations back to the mid-1960's and additional life science journals. PubMed includes links to many sites providing full text articles and other related resources. (update 2.24.03)
A cluster of databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals and environmental health.
HSDB (Hazardous Substance Data Bank)
This provides a chemical specific search that produces a report on human and animal toxicity, safety and handling and environmental fate. This is a good place to start a search using key words like "spray paint" or specific chemical names.
IRIS (Integrated Risk Information System)
This data has been used to assess human health risk.
These fact sheets provide a quick reference to specific chemicals that may be listed on a MSDS sheet. (2007-03-26)
This is the one of three sites that maintain SIRI MSDS searches.(update 2.24.03)
At this site you can find pollution prevention information on solvent and process alternatives to parts cleaning and degreasing. There are economic case studies available here that will help you determine how much the substitutes will cost.(update 2.24.03)
This SAGE page has a list of common solvent and process alternatives.(update 2.24.03)