Empowering citizens to manage their chemical exposures step 1 - identify ingredients in consumer products

Jenna Kim, Catherine Blake, Henry A. Gabb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Our choices around consumer products directly influence our amount of chemical exposure. Although access to chemicals within individual products are available, we often use multiple products so ingredient names must be harmonized to accurately estimate cumulative exposure. We evaluated the accuracy and coverage of two strategies, PubChem and tmChem, with respect to a database of 55K products. More than half of the ingredients identified by PubChem were specific chemical names (55%), followed by natural or artificial colors (20%) and plants or plant derivatives (13%). The majority of ingredients identified by tmChem were chemical names (83.9%). Only 1,696 of the 8,247 (20.56%) were identified by both systems. Although tmChem had better coverage, ~70% of ingredients identified by tmChem need further work to align with a specific chemical. Both strategies are needed to provide an accurate, personalized, and cumulative measure of chemical exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)436-440
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Chemical Entity Recognition
  • Knowledge Representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Library and Information Sciences

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