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Author Topic: How can I tell if a substance is carcinogenic?  (Read 2152 times)

Raquel Slater

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How can I tell if a substance is carcinogenic?
« on: 09/05/2010 05:30:03 »
Raquel Slater  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
My children have stepped in an unknown tar-like substance in our garden.  It is foul-smelling and very sticky and black.  It doesn't come off easily from clothing, carpets, shoes, etc... we want to find out if it is carcinogenic or poses any threat to the children/ourselves.  We do not know the origin of this compound (it just appeared in our garden on a green foam/florist block) and would like to know how to test it or if there is an organisation that can test it for us? 


Thank you for your help,
R. Slater

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 09/05/2010 05:30:03 by _system »


 

Online Bored chemist

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How can I tell if a substance is carcinogenic?
« Reply #1 on: 09/05/2010 13:41:43 »
Even most things that are carcinogenic are not good at causing cancer.
I'd stop worrying too much on that account. You might want to get in contact with whoever you got the foam from and ask them if they have any ideas.
In the meantime it might help to know that I have found that rubbing butter or cooking oil into tar stains softens/ dissolves them. The fat can then be washed off with soapy water.

I work for a lab that could do the testing for most of the well known carcinogens, but the cost would be prohibitive and the answer wouldn't really tell you much.
 

Offline Bill.D.Katt.

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How can I tell if a substance is carcinogenic?
« Reply #2 on: 16/06/2010 05:34:58 »
This might be a slime mold, they tend to appear randomly over night and slowly grow. Except I rarely see black tar-like slime molds, they're usually yellow. Might want to look into it though.
 

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How can I tell if a substance is carcinogenic?
« Reply #2 on: 16/06/2010 05:34:58 »

 

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