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Bill Smith’s New Chemical (1979)

Lake Jackson Historical Museum

Sound | 1979

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  •  Overview of major world city’s populations 
  •  Discussion of threats of environmental affects of chemical pollution 
  •  Reminding people that the “Olden Days” were just as bad if not worse than today, thanks to Chemicals 
  •  Minimizing lead poisoning 
  •  Dr. Perry Gehring on toxicology testing 
  •  “Bill Smith’s New Chemical” in the toxicology lab 
  •  Animals used in animal testing 
  •  Data collection and analysis in toxicology 
  •  Use of data for publication 
  •  Continued testing of chemical use after development 
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  • About the video
  • Dow Chemical Company Dow Chemical Company
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This industrial film was produced by Dow Chemical Company to alleviate fears about chemicals and toxicology in many everyday products produced by Dow. The film explains (in a slightly paternalistic fashion) that chemicals are everywhere and that moderation is important. The narrator visits the Midland, Michigan toxicology lab where Dow employees demonstrate how new chemicals are tested for toxicity.
Dow Chemical, headquartered in Midland, Michigan, is one of the world’s largest chemical companies with numerous plants and facilities all over the world. Dow Chemical’s involvement in Texas began in 1940 with the construction of the Freeport Plant in Freeport, Texas. This plant was primarily tasked with extracting magnesium from sea water, a much needed resource America's military effort in World War II. The development of the city of Lake Jackson, which served as a home for Dow employees, coincided with the construction of the Freeport Plant and as such share a mutual history. Dow Chemical in Freeport became part of a larger transformation of the Texas Coast into a major center of the oil and chemical industry.