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Toxicology - In-depth Research Guide: Government Sources

This guide is designed to assist patrons who need to do an in-depth search of the detailed toxicology of a particular substance or make an extensive review of a topic related to toxicology such as endocrine disrupters.
Last Updated: Apr 4, 2022 9:54 AM

Government Sources

Government Sources

1) IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans [print only]

Despite the title of this series, these monographs cover far more than carcinogenic risks. Each volume provides an extensive review of the occupational exposure, use, environmental distribution and fate, as well as details of the toxic, carcinogenic, and teratological effects on animals and humans. The series is produced by the authoritative International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization .

The University at Buffalo has a standing order for the entire series. Older volumes up through Vol. 35 (1985) are available via Delivery+ from our Library Annex.  From Vol. 36 (1985) forward, they are shelved in the Lockwood circulating book collection under the call number RC268.6.I28. Each volume is cataloged separately under its unique title in the Libraries' Catalog . To review the entire series, simply search by keyword for 'iarc and monographs' or search the call number.

2) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

ATSDR is the lead federal public health agency for response to releases of hazardous substances into the environment and participates in policy development for environmental health-related issues. Among the resources they maintain on their web site are Toxicological Profiles for over 285 chemicals, ToxFAQs summaries, and the CERCLA Priority List of Hazardous Substances.

3) MEDLINEplus Toxicology Guides

MEDLINEplus from the National Library of Medicine contains extensive topical guides on poisoning, toxicology, and environmental health. Topics include asbestos, biodefense and bioterrorism, anthrax, indoor air pollution, ozone, lead poisoning, and pesticides.

4) RTECS (Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances)

RTECS, previously a free database from NIOSH, is now only available as a subscription database from a number of vendors including STN International (File RTECS) and Dialog (File 336). It contains toxicological information with citations on over 150,000 chemical substances. A comprehensive record for each substance provides all published toxicology data such as LD50 and LC50 values, international workplace exposure limits, references to US standards and regulations, analytical methods, and exposure and hazard survey data. Note that the toxicology values are taken directly from the published literature with no further evaluation or quality review. Although the UB University Libraries do not maintain a flat-rate, university-wide subscription, the Science and Engineering Information Center staff can provide limited access this database on Dialog or STN International on a pay-as-you-go basis

5) ChemView (EPA)

ChemView is the newest EPA interface to information on chemical health and safety data received by EPA and EPA's assessments and regulatory actions for specific chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). ChemView contains no confidential business information.  Included are all TSCA-related data submitted to the EPA; EPA assessments and actions; and manufacturing processing, use, and release data. Many of the documents are unpublished.

Source content included:

  • High Production Volume Information System (HPVIS)
  • Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)
  • Significant New Use Rules
  • Toxic Release Inventory
  • Export Notifications
  • Many more listed in the left-hand column of the query screen under "Show Output Selection" heading.

6) NIOSH Safety and Health Topic: Chemical Safety

This guide from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provides many links to useful NIOSH and external databases on toxicology and chemical hazards in the workplace. Occupational exposure information, personal protective equipment, and material safety data sheet resources are provided.

7) National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

The mission of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is to reduce human illness and dysfunction from environmental causes. The NIEHS home page provides links to Environmental Health Topics (A-Z), the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives , and the National Toxicology Program .

8) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NIOSH covers all possible workplace hazards including radiation, toxic substances, noise, and indoor air pollution. Links are provided to an impressive array of databases, publications, criteria documents, software, multimedia, and manuals.

9) CDC: Environmental Health

This Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) topical page informs the general public on environmental health issues, linking to guides for key areas such as pesticides, radiation, and carbon monoxide. Links to materials compiled by the CDC and other U.S. government agencies such as fact sheets, news releases, and recent research reports are provided. The A-Z Index toolbar at the top of the web page is especially useful.

This page also links to the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) , part of the CDC. The NCEH home page provides significant additional (and some overlapping) information on diseases and deaths caused by people's interaction with their environment. Topics include air pollution, cancer clusters, chemical weapons, and lead poisoning. The electronic full-text of various reports, brochures, and fact sheets are available for free.

10) ACToR EPA

ACToR is EPA's online repository for all publicly available data relating to chemical toxicity, and allows users to search over 500,000 chemicals by name, structure, or CAS number.  ACToR pulls data from over 1000 public sources in order to provide information concerning the risks certain chemicals pose to humans and the environment. 

Among these sources available in ACToR are a number of other EPA toxicology databases: ToxRefDB - holding over 30 years of animal toxicity studies; ToxCastDB - providing chemical exposure factor data for chemical prioritization; and DSSTox - containing chemical structure information with annotations. 

11)  CompTox Dashboard (EPA)

A successor to the Distributed Structure-Searchable Toxicity (DSSTox) Public Database Network, CompTox Dashboard is one of a suite of dashboards developed by the EPA to help evaluate the safety of chemicals. It provides access to a variety of data and information on over 700,000 chemicals currently in use and of interest to environmental researchers. Within the CompTox Dashboard, users can access chemical structures, experimental and predicted physicochemical and toxicity data, and additional links to relevant websites and applications. It maps curated physicochemical property data associated with chemical substances to their corresponding chemical structures

12) NYS Department of Health: Health & Safety in the Home, Workplace and Outdoors

This site provides information for consumers, health providers, and researchers. The information available is clear and concise. Appropriate contacts with the State of New York are provided for those needing more detailed information.

13) USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center (CERC) Online Databases

Located in Columbia, Missouri, this US Geological Survey (USGS) research facility provides scientific data needed to address national and international environmental contaminant issues, especially effects of habitat alterations on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Included are the National Contaminant Biomonitoring Program Database and the Sediment Effect Concentration Database.

14) US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board

The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is an independent federal agency whose mission is to prevent industrial chemical accidents and save lives. The CSB investigates chemical incidents and hazards, determines root causes, and issues safety recommendations to government agencies and private organizations. Details of both current and completed investigations as well as some safety publications are available at this web site.

15) ECOTOX (USEPA)

The ECOTOXicology database (ECOTOX) is a source for locating single chemical toxicity data from three U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) ecological effects databases; AQUIRE, TERRETOX, and PHYTOTOX. The AQUIRE and TERRETOX databases contain information on lethal, sublethal and residue effects. The AQUIRE database includes toxic effects data on all aquatic species including plants and animals and freshwater and saltwater species. TERRETOX is the terrestrial animal database. It's primary focus is wildlife species but the database does include information on domestic species. PHYTOTOX is a terrestrial plant database that includes lethal and sublethal toxic effects data.

16) Health and Environmental Research Online (HERO) [USEPA]

HERO, a new database introduced by the EPA in 2010, is a new database of scientific studies and other references used to develop EPA's risk assessments aimed at understanding the health and environmental effects of pollutants and chemicals. It is developed and managed in EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) by the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA). Although much of the database covers standard peer-reviewed journal articles, HERO also covers reports, books, book chapters, conference material, and other miscellaneous reference types, if they were used in the assessment development process. Some of these references provide links to an internet site where the material can be downloaded or purchased. See HERO Basic Information and Frequent Questions for further help.

Biological Sciences Librarian

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Fred Stoss
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