A toxin is "a substance that is harmful to living organisms. Toxic effects can be the result of exposure to toxins."
Toxins include naturally occurring substances as well as hundreds of thousands of human-made substances. [...] Synthetic toxic chemicals include pesticides such as DDT and PCBs found in industrial wastes. Many plastics made from petroleum are toxins. [...] Since the early 1970s, the United States government and all fifty states have passed hundreds of statutes designed to control toxins in our environment.
Toxicology [...] is the study of poisons, or toxins, and how they affect living organisms (specially with regards to the adverse affects to those organisms). It also includes the investigations of toxins in the environment; along with how they are distributed and the risks presented to plants, animals, and people.
(World of Biology and World of Chemistry, retrieved via InfoTrac® PowerSearch; this electronic resource can be accessed anywhere in the state of Massachusetts)
Our library has a number of books relating to toxins and toxicology. Start with the list of titles we own below. You can also use our library catalog to search and reserve other books, to be brought in from other MVLC libraries. Click here for a system-wide selection of books that list toxicology as a subject. Use the books you like to find additional helpful subject headings, such as Environmental toxicology, Environmental health, Pollution, Green products, Product safety, Household supplies, and more.
Be sure to check all of the Print and Media Resources that have been purchased with funds from the How Green Is My Library? grant.
Spotlighted Electronic Resource
Use the Environmental Studies and Policy Collection to find out more. This link should work anywhere in the state of Massachusetts. Once in, just type your search term into the search engine. If you start to type tox-, Search Assist will immediately begin supplying possible searches like toxic chemicals, toxic waste, and toxic effects. You have the option of making Keyword, Subject, Publication Title and Entire Document searches; you can also restrict your results to documents with full text, peer-reviewed publications, and/or documents with images.
Once you have submitted your initial search, the left sidebar will provide you with the option of specific content types: Magazines (the default), Academic Journals, and so forth. You can also view potentially pertinent subjects: for example, Pollution, Hazardous substances, the Toxic Substances Control Act, and so forth.
Environmental Studies and Policy Collection is a Gale InfoTrac® collection and an excellent resource for researching a host of environmentally-related inquiries. For a more "hands on" approach to the subject of toxins reduction, another great Gale collection is Gale's Home Improvement Collection. Both of these collections are great for targeted searching; however, if you want, you can also use InfoTrac® PowerSearch to search multiple Gale collections in a single search.
For more possibilities, visit our Electronic Resources With A Green Focus.
Do you want a refresher on a program you attended,
On February 15th, Heidi Wilcox of the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute presented Reducing Toxins in Your Home, a talk on the many ways in which toxic items are present in everyday items that we use in the home. She also presented alternatives and make-it-yourself versions.
Gretel Clark held a series of four H-W Trash Q&A sessions in March and April, helping people with their questions, concerns, and problems with the new recycling and trash pickup guidelines.
Tina Woolston, Director of the Office of Sustainability at Tufts University, presented The Climate Reality Project on Wednesday, May 30th. Founded and chaired by Al Gore and with over five million members and supporters worldwide, the Project "is guided by one simple truth: the climate crisis is real and we know how to solve it."
Vic and Sticks' Recycled Rhythm Band gave a fast-paced interactive performance on Wednesday, June 27th, championing the cause of kindness and sharing the message that everyone can make a difference through respect for oneself, other people, and the entire planet. Empty plastic bottles were handed out to the volunteers and transformed into percussive musical instruments, demonstrating the possibilities of "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle."
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This project is being funded through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners with funds from LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act), a Federal source of library funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.