Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Toxic chemical compounds used in products that you are aware of

  1. Oct 4, 2011 #1
    What are some dangerous chemical compounds and substances that manufactures put into products that you are aware of and recommend avoiding ? (Is there anything not mentioned here? What are some other toxic compounds?)

    -Plastic items such as shoes, plastic trash bags contain PolyVynyl Chloride (PVC) Even pipes in the house are made of them sometimes.

    -Inexpensive imported jewelry; Cadmium and Lead, linked to diseases, generally very toxic.
    (especially imported Jewelry made overseas, both metallic and plastic can contain either of these compounds.)

    -Aspartame, is actually composed of poisonous compounds, though it is used as a sweetener, the poisonous compounds are: (taken from reference at bottom) 'Aspartame is composed of three main compounds - aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol (wood alcohol). Phenylalanine is an amino acid and is known to affect several neurotransmitters (a substance that is used to transmit signals in brain and nerve cells). It makes up 50% of the aspartame molecule and has been associated with cancers for many years, even being cited as "essential" for cancer development. The third component, aspartic acid is also an amino acid, which is widely recognized to excite nerve cells and has been linked to many brain and nerve problems including HDD, anxiety attacks, depression, headaches and migraines. Methanol is the most basic form of alcohol (as opposed to ethanol, the kind commonly found in alcoholic drinks). It is an extremely poisonous compound.'

    -Mind altering drugs; Linked to diseases, and addiction, though doctors will not admit that they can be extremely toxic and dangerous, due to the massage amounts of cash flow these drugs bring to them, and the manufactures.

    -Dental treatment; root canals are toxic , as are fillings;
    Amalgam Fillings Linked to Neurological Problems, Gastrointestinal Problems
    The first large-scale epidemiological study of mercury and adverse reactions was recently completed and showed that of the symptoms looked at, there was a link seen to gastrointestinal problems, sleep disturbances, concentration problems, memory disturbances, lack of initiative, restlessness, bleeding gums and other mouth disorders.
    Also Mercury / Alzheimer's Disease Connection Found.

    References: Here are some of the references, the other references are easy to find on google if you really want to:
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 5, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    2017 Award

    Table salt is also composed of toxic compounds: sodium, a metal that reacts violently and explosively with water, and chlorine, a poisonous gas that has been used in chemical warfare.

    Of course, the fact that table salt is made from these two harmful substances says nothing about the toxicity of table salt. Chemical substances change their properties significantly upon reaction with other substances. The fact that aspartame is made from aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol tells you nothing about the actual toxicity of aspartame. Any source that makes the argument you cite as a reason to avoid aspartame is not credible in my opinion; the argument is based upon a very flawed understanding of basic chemistry.

    Furthermore, of the three substances that react to form aspartame, only methanol is really harmful to you. Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid -- if you do not consume this substance, you will die because your body will not be able to create the proteins that it needs. Aspartic acid is an amino acid that is naturally made by our own bodies. Both are important for the correct functioning of our bodies, and both are found in very high amounts in the normal foods we eat.

    Yes, these compounds can be harmful in large doses, but so can everything else. It is the dose that makes the poison. Even water can be toxic in high enough doses. Unless you are shoveling kilograms of aspartame into your body, I doubt its toxicity will be an issue.

    Your points about cadmium and lead, however, are well put and worth following.
  4. Oct 5, 2011 #3
    VERY VERY WRONG answer! the answer is to the question: What other chemical compounds and things are toxic that are marketed to consumers?
    The bit about the salt is WRONG, salt is clearly not harmful when the NA and CL cation and anions are together in that fashion. The question was not asking about things that are clearly not harmful, but things that parallel, the Cadmium, PVC, lead , so on.
  5. Oct 6, 2011 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Sorry, but you can't say in one post that substance made by reacting poisons is dangerous, then say in another post that substance made by reacting poisons is not dangerous. You are contradicting yourself.

    Ygggs post is perfectly correct.
  6. Oct 6, 2011 #5
    I think the real worry here is the huge amounts of dixydrogen monoxide people are putting into our foods.
  7. Oct 6, 2011 #6
    Fluoride in toothpaste. 200 mg is a toxic dose for a 70 kg individual. It can also cause fluorosis is you brush your teeth too much.
  8. Oct 6, 2011 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    2017 Award

    My toothpaste contains 0.14% (w/v) fluoride. To obtain a dose of 500mg of fluoride requires consuming 357 mL of toothpaste. This is the same volume as a 12 oz can of soda.
  9. Oct 6, 2011 #8
    I'd try to stay away from BPAs as much as possible (avoid canned foods, plastic bottles that contain them).

    More and more evidence is piling up that BPAs are baaaaad..
  10. Oct 6, 2011 #9


    User Avatar
    Gold Member


    Either way, I'll take my chances.
  11. Oct 7, 2011 #10


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Not with my http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/existingchemicals/pubs/actionplans/bpa_action_plan.pdf" [Broken]

    I'm working to develop an epoxy modified quick-set mortar but I can't find the stuff I need in the US. Europe - yes... USA - NO! Environmental release of BPA-based resins has DOW freaked out! They won't sell water-dispersible BPA formulations to me.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  12. Oct 7, 2011 #11
  13. Oct 7, 2011 #12


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Okay. Looks like I can continue eating my plastic containers when I'm done eating the food in them.

    Actually you're right, these things are a horrible thing.

    Just kidding. I'm not the type for thoughtless knee-jerk reactions.
  14. Oct 9, 2011 #13


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Methanol extremely dangerous as opposed to ethanol which you consider not toxic by the way you wrote. Ethanol also has its effects upon the body and mind and these have been documented quite extensively. I am not sure why you would have left that out in the list of toxic substances.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook