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Welcome

Introduction

The Toxicology Program of the Iowa Department of Public Health's Toxicology Manual provides various fact sheets on chemicals and potentially toxic substances to educate the public on the health effects from exposure to toxic substances in the environment.  The fact sheets include information on the uses of these chemicals, sources of exposure in Iowa, the human health effects of short-term or acute exposure to large amounts of these chemicals, the human health effects of long-term or chronic exposure to small amounts of these chemicals, and methods to protect individuals from exposure.

Also included on each of the chemical fact sheets are internet links to additional on-line sources of toxicological information for each of the chemicals and substances.  The on-line references include detailed toxicological profiles, medical management guidelines, case-studies, clinical treatment and patient care, and occupational exposure information.

Exposure to Chemicals

Everyone is exposed to chemicals each day.  In fact, our bodies are made up of chemicals, and we consume chemicals (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) in the foods we eat.  We are constantly exposed to both natural and man-made chemicals from the environment in which we live.

To be adversely effected by exposure to a chemical, a person must first come into contact with the chemical.  Exposure can result from inhalation (breathing the chemical), dermal exposure (contacting the chemical with the skin), or ingestion (drinking or eating the chemical).  A person not exposed to a chemical cannot be adversely effected by it.  Adverse health effects from a chemical do not occur unless a person’s exposure is greater than the threshold dose – the amount of a chemical at which no health effects are noted in most people.

Updates to Toxicology Manual

The Toxicology Manual will be updated with listings for additional chemicals and substances and with updated information for chemicals as new information becomes available and is reviewed by the Iowa Department of Public Health.  
If additional information is needed, please contact the Toxicology Program at the Iowa Department of Public Health by calling (515) 281-8707 or by sending an email to stuart.schmitz@idph.iowa.gov