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Archive for the ‘TOXNET and Beyond’ Category

Haz-Map Updated

Friday, February 14th, 2014

NLM has updated Haz-Map with 481 new agents, including 23 agents causing occupational asthma. Fifteen new hazardous job tasks linked to jobs and industries were also added in this update.  Haz-Map now covers over 9170 chemical and biological agents and 241 occupational diseases.

Haz-Map is an occupational health database designed for health and safety professionals and for consumers seeking information about the health effects of exposure to chemicals and biologicals at work.  Haz-Map links jobs and hazardous tasks with occupational diseases and their symptoms. It currently covers over 5997 chemical and biological agents and 235 occupational diseases.

More information can be found at

Join the NLM Training Center for a New Online TOXNET Class

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Would you like to learn more about the environmental health resources available from the National Library of Medicine?  Join the NLM Training Center (NTC) from October 21 – November 5, 2013 for Module 1 a new online class, called “Discovering TOXNET:  From Paracelsus to Nanotechnology.”

TOXNET is a web-based system of databases covering hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases. Module 1 covers three TOXNET databases (ChemIDPlus, LactMed, and TOXLINE) as well as three emergency response tools (CHEMM, REMM, and WISER).  Module 2 covers the risk assessment databases and will be offered at a later date.  You’ll learn about the resources through videos, guided tutorials, discovery exercises, and solving real-life reference questions.

Who should take the class?
Health sciences librarians and health sciences professionals interested in unlocking the information in the following TOXNET and emergency response tools:  ChemIDPlus, LactMed, TOXLINE, CHEMM, REMM, and WISER.

How much time?
3 hours of work on your own time followed by a 1 hour synchronous session using Adobe Connect.  Participants who complete the class requirements are eligible for 4 MLA Continuing Education credits.

Asynchronous work on your own (allow 3 hours):  October 21 – 31, 2013
Synchronous Adobe Connect session:  November 5, 2013, 1 pm ET (12 pm CT, 11 am MT, 10 am PT)

How to Register?
Enrollment is limited, so register soon!  Visit:


Coming Soon: New Interface for TOXNET

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

An updated version of TOXNET (TOXicology Data NETwork) will be released in 2014.

The new design will offer seamless navigation for non-professionals as well as professionals. The update will include a more current look and feel, improved interactive capabilities and a better integrated “All Search Results.”

TOXNET is a group of databases covering toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health and related areas. The Web interface provides an easy way to search databases of varying formats and content. It can be used to locate toxicology data, literature references, and toxics release information on particular chemicals, as well as to identify chemicals that cause specific effects.

TOXNET was originally designed and developed prior to the Internet, primarily for a professional audience. It has become increasingly important for its data to be accessible for a wide variety of users, many of whom are not professionals in the toxicological fields, and who are not familiar with the related vocabulary and acronyms.

Visualize World Peace and Air Pollution

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Take a moment and think what it would look like to achieve world peace. Now, think about what it would look like to see air pollution trends in your neighborhood. Thinking about world peace might lower your blood pressure, where as thinking about air pollution…well, need I say more?

The Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) recently announced the release of the Toxic Trends web application. ECOS is a national non-profit, non-partisan association of state and territorial environmental agency leaders. The interactive Toxic Trends map visually represents industrial air pollution information and relative risk scores to inhabitants across the United States. The application uses data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) database and other EPA sources. Toxic Trends provides public access to toxic pollution data from environmental releases of medium to large pollution sources like local refineries and aluminum smelters.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine provides access to TRI data via the TOXNET suite of databases at:

Toxic Trends can be found at:


Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

One year after the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970, the agency started a photo project called Documerica that ran from 1971 to 1977.  The EPA hired freelance photographers to take pictures relating to environmental problems, EPA activities, and everyday life in the 1970s to create a baseline.

Over 15,000 images can be viewed online and downloaded without any copyright restrictions (taxpayers own the photos).

Here is the link to the EPA Documerica site:

Rachel Carson Contest 2013

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Rachel Carson is considered to be the mother of the modern day environmental movement going back to the 1960s, which lead to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970. The EPA is the keeper of much of the data found in TOXNET databases such as IRIS, TRI and TOXMAP. For the past 7 years or so, the EPA has sponsored a contest in Carson’s honor; the Sense of Wonder Contest.

Visit the EPA’s website to read about the contest:

Toxic Release Inventory Communities Webinar Available Online

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

On November 8, 2012, the EPA and the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) presented a webinar for community grassroots groups and others who serve as community leaders about how to access and use EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory data.

You may now view the video recording of this webinar online.

You can access this archive of the 2012 TRI Fall Webinar, “Introduction to the Toxics Release Inventory for Communities”, by browsing to the following address:

Redesigned Home Page for Division of Specialized Information Services

Monday, January 7th, 2013

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) released a refreshed home page on Monday, January 7, 2013. The new design includes a carousel highlighting SIS resources. All functions will remain the same.

SIS produces information resources on a range of topics covering toxicology, environmental health, HIV/AIDS, drug and consumer product information, and disaster/emergency preparedness and response. View the new home page at:

NLM Resources Especially for Toxicologists

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Specialized Information Services(SIS) has released “Especially for Toxicologists,” ( a guide to NLM resources on environmental health, toxicology, and chemical information for toxicologists.

A new Enviro-Health Links page, “Laboratory Safety” ( offers links to information for clinical, academic and school laboratories, including resources for handling chemical, biological and nanotechnology safely. Also included are links to regulations and policy, hazard analysis, MSDS, waste management, and pre-formulated TOXNET and PubMed searches.

Discovering the Connection: Your Environment, Your Health

Friday, November 30th, 2012

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has released “Discovering the Connection: Your Environment, Your Health,” an after school science club curriculum for middle school students (

The curriculum combines research on the Tox Town Web site ( with hands-on experiments and communication and with social action activities. The objective is to introduce middle school students to environmental health issues in their everyday life, emphasizing the relevance of science to informed citizenship.

The curriculum was developed as a collaboration between the NLM, the University of Maryland College of Education, and an inter-disciplinary group of middle school teachers. It is based on National Science Education Standards and is grounded in problem-based learning approach that promotes in-depth understanding and critical thinking.

The curriculum contains six units; each introduces one environmental health topic and include three to four 50-60 minute lessons. The units include: 1) Water Quality, 2) Air Quality, 3) Chemicals in Your Home, 4) Food Safety, 5) Runoff, Impervious Surfaces, and Smart Development, and 6) The Great Debate: Bottled Water vs. Tap Water in Our School.

The curriculum lessons can also be used to support the existing middle school science curriculum, as well as to reinforce the science/society connection in the social science or language arts classroom.