RESOURCES: Handle With Care

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Science  07 Feb 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5608, pp. 795
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5608.795b

Formaldehyde, which is used to preserve biological specimens, is flammable and can cause allergies, burns, and possibly cancer. Many scientific jobs involve exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals. For a quick rundown on chemical safety, try this collection of data sheets from the National Safety Council in Itasca, Illinois. The site profiles more than 80 chemicals, from toxic metals such as mercury to caustics such as sulfuric acid to organic solvents. Each sheet explains the chemical's properties and uses, describes health effects, and provides data on exposure limits. The sheets also list laws and regulations that control use and release of the chemical, as well as national statistics on emissions into the environment.

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