NLM describes what's inside

It may promise whiter teeth and fresher breath, but what exactly is in that whitening toothpaste? And can it be harmful? The National Library of Medicine this summer launched a Web site that lets consumers look beyond marketing hype to find factual information about household products.

The Web site, householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov, lists the chemical ingredients of more than 4,000 products. The site lets users 'learn what's in the products under the kitchen sink, in the garage, in the bathroom and on the laundry room shelf,' NLM officials said.

Since its debut in late June, the site has received more than 61,775 visits, said Florence Chang, a computer scientist at the library.

The site lists each product's chemical ingredients and possible health risks caused by overexposure, eye contact, skin contact or ingestion.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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