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Articles on Chemicals

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Jordanian forensics experts inspect the site of a chlorine gas explosion in the Port of Aqaba in June 2022. Khalil Mazraawi/AFP via Getty Images

Chlorine is a highly useful chemical that’s also extremely dangerous − here’s what to know about staying safe around it

Chlorine is a widely used industrial chemical that’s frequently a factor in toxic accidents and workplace injuries. A pharmaceutical expert explains why it’s so hazardous.
Canals carry PFAS into Miami’s Biscayne Bay. Art Wager/E+ via Getty Images

PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ are getting into ocean ecosystems, where dolphins, fish and manatees dine – we traced their origins

Scientists found PFAS hot spots in Miami’s Biscayne Bay where the chemicals are entering coastal waters and reaching the ocean. Water samples point to some specific sources.
Quaternary ammonium compounds can linger on surfaces and in indoor air and dust long after the disinfectant has dried. Guido Mieth/DigitalVision via Getty Images

Disinfectants and cleaning products harboring toxic chemicals are widely used despite lack of screening for potential health hazards

Quaternary ammonium compounds, also known as QACs or quats, are commonly used antimicrobials also found in many household products. Soap and water may be a safer bet when cleaning surfaces.
Common household products such as cleaning agents can contain a wide range of harmful chemicals. gawriloff/istock via Getty Images

Body lotions, mothballs, cleaning fluids and other widely used products contain known toxic chemicals, study finds

Manufacturers don’t usually have to disclose what’s in products like shampoo and household cleaners, but a new study finds that these products can contain hazardous ingredients.
A deep injection well used for disposal of fracking wastewater in Kern County, Calif. Citizens of the Planet/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Companies that frack for oil and gas can keep a lot of information secret – but what they disclose shows widespread use of hazardous chemicals

Fracking for oil and gas uses millions of pounds of chemicals, some of which are toxic or carcinogenic. Two researchers summarize what companies have disclosed and call for more transparency.
A new federal regulation will set national limits on two ‘forever chemicals’ widely found in drinking water. Thanasis Zovoilis/moment via Getty Images

Regulating ‘forever chemicals’: 3 essential reads on PFAS

The Biden administration is finalizing the first federal limits on two compounds, PFOA and PFOS, in drinking water. These so-called ‘forever chemicals’ have been linked to numerous health effects.
A trooper checks the tire of a truck carrying flammable contents during a random hazmat checkpoint in Colorado. Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Train derailments get more headlines, but truck crashes involving hazardous chemicals are more frequent and deadly in US

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is looking into new rules for trains. Trucks, however, are involved in thousands more hazmat incidents every year in the US.
Homes that survived the Marshall Fire didn’t come through unscathed. Matthew Jonas/MediaNews Group/Boulder Daily Camera via Getty Images

Homes that survived the Marshall Fire 1 year ago harbored another disaster inside – here’s what we’ve learned about this insidious urban wildfire risk

Noxious smells and blowing ash initially made the homes unlivable. But even after their homes were cleaned, some residents still reported health effects months later.
The HBM4EU project has set out to monitor Europeans’ chemical exposure on an unprecedented scale. Davit Khutsishvili/Shutterstock

What exactly are chemicals doing to our bodies? European scientists team up to find out

Chemicals are omnipresent in our lives and production is booming, yet we know little about their impacts on human health. To fill the gap, the EU has launched a series of biomonitoring initiatives.
UV absorbents and industrial antioxidants can reach aquatic environments through the degradation of plastics, or via wastewater treatment plant effluents. (Environment and Climate Change Canada)

Contaminants of emerging concern, found in sunscreens and plastics, end up in the St. Lawrence River

UV absorbents and industrial antioxidants are used in many household goods to protect them from UV radiation. They can have an adverse impact on ecosystems.

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