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Toxipedia: A

  • acaricides
    Acaricides are a class of pesticide used specifically to kill mites, ticks and spiders (as distinct from insects).  The most well known acaricide is Malathion.  Introduced in 1950, Malathion is used to combat flies, mosquitoes, ticks and body lice and household insects.  It is considered to be one of the safest organophosphates.
  • activated carbon filter
    Activated carbon (also activated charcoal) is charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to open up millions of tiny pores between the carbon atoms resulting in a large surface area.  The huge surface area of activated charcoal gives it numerous bonding sites. When certain chemicals pass next to the carbon surface, they attach to the surface and are trapped.
  • alcohol
    An organic chemical containing one or more hydroxyl (-OH) groups.  Alcohol is used frequently as a solvent and is found in beverages and medicine. Medicinally, alcohol is used internally as a stimulant and hypnotic. It is used externally as an antiseptic. Alcohol is also found in personal care products such as deodorant, cologne, cold cream, suntan lotion, shampoo, and shaving cream.
  • allergens
    Antigenic substances capable of producing immediate hypersensitivity.  Although almost any thing could be an allergen, the most common are drugs such as antibiotics, foods such as milk, peanuts and strawberries, and inhalants such as pollen, dust, perfume and smoke.
  • allergy
    A hypersensitivity of the immune system to certain environmental substances which are normally harmless.  The body mounts an inappropriate response, generating excess white blood cells, which leads to an inflammatory response that can range from mildly uncomfortable to life threatening.
  • aluminum
    The most abundant metal in the earth's crust.  Aluminum and it's alloys are the most widely used metals after Iron and can be found in everything from soda cans to airplanes.
  • aluminum chloride
    An aluminum salt used as an antiperspirant in may deodorants.  It is classified as a low grade neurotoxin and can have detrimental health effects in high doses.
  • ammonia
    Ammonia is a colorless gas with a pungent and recognizable odor.  It is common in household cleaning products.  It is both caustic and toxic and can be a health hazard in large quantities.
  • amoeba
    Tiny, shapeless, single celled protozoan organism common in most hydrated environments.
  • artificial fragrance
    Though most artificial fragrances have minimal environmental impact, they are known to bring about asthma attacks in some asthma sufferers and allergic reactions such as rashes, headaches, respiratory problems and watery eyes in those with fragrance allergies.
  • asthma
    A lung disorder causing occasional attacks of wheezing and shortness of breath.  Usually , no cause can be demonstrated for asthma, however asthma attacks are sometimes brought about by allergic reactions to mold, dust or dander.   During an attack, bronchial tree muscles tighten and the lining of air passages swell, causing a reduction of airflow which produces a wheezing sound.  Tobacco smoke, cold air, stress, air pollutants, food allergies and respiratory infections can all trigger asthma attacks.

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