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Archive for the ‘TOXNET and Beyond’ Category

Tox Town Releases a New Drought Location Page

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Did you experience drought conditions where you live this summer? Has your health been affected because of the drought? Do you wonder if droughts are related to climate change? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should visit Tox Town’s new Drought location page. Information is provided on why drought is a concern, how it is related to climate change, and possible health affects related to drought.

ALTBIB Portal Updated

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

The National Library of Medicine ALTBIB portal provides access to PubMed® and MEDLINE® citations relevant to alternatives to the use of live vertebrates in biomedical research and testing.

This collection provides citations from published articles, books, book chapters, and technical reports published from 1980 to 2000. The bibliography features citations concerning methods, tests, assays, and procedures that may prove useful in establishing alternatives to the use of intact vertebrates. Many citations provide access to free full text.

Visit the site at:


NLM Drug Information Portal for Mobile Sites

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Drug Information Portal is now available for mobile devices.

This mobile optimized web site covers over 32,000 drugs and provides descriptions, drug names, pharmaceutical categories, and structural diagrams.  Each record also features information links to 19 other resources including NLM PubMed, NLM LactMed, and Drugs@FDA.  The mobile version of a resource is used when available.

Smart Phones accessing the main Drug Portal site will be taken the mobile site.

The Drug Information Portal (  is a free Web resource from the NLM that provides an informative, user friendly entry-way to current drug information for over 32,000 drugs. Links to sources span the breadth of the NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) <>, and other government agencies. Current information regarding consumer health, clinical trials, AIDS-related drug information, MeSH pharmacological actions, PubMed biomedical literature, and physical properties and structure is easily retrieved by searching on a drug name. A varied selection of focused topics in medicine and drug-related information is also available from displayed subject headings.

Comments and suggestions are welcome at


Haz-Map: Redesigned Web and Mobile Versions

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

NLM has released redesigned Web and mobile versions of Haz-Map. The new design adapts to Web browsers on desktop computers, laptops, and tablets, as well as mobile browsers on smart phones, such as iPhones, Android and Blackberry phones.

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 5,997 chemical and biological agents and 235 occupational diseases. Haz-Map is part of the TOXNET® suite of databases; to learn more about TOXNET, see our list of upcoming “TOXNET and Beyond” classes.

For more information see the Haz-Map Fact Sheet.

Green Chemistry

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

From the EPA’s website:

Green chemistry consists of environmentally friendly, sustainable chemicals and processes whose use results in reduced waste, safer outputs, and reduced or eliminated pollution and environmental damage. Green chemistry encourages innovation and promotes the creation of products that are both environmentally and economically sustainable.

Introduction to the Concept Of Green Chemistry

If you happen to be in EPA Region 7

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

From: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Daily Digest Bulletin

National “Documerica” Environmental Photo Exhibit Comes to National Archives at Kansas City

The National Archives at Kansas City, in cooperation with EPA Region 7, will open EPA’s “Documerica” exhibit of photographs depicting environmental conditions of the past and present beginning May 16, 2012. The display’s visit to Kansas City is the seventh stop in a national tour and will be open through May 31, 2012.

From its development in 1971, “Documerica” became the United States’ first serious pictorial examination of the environment. The project collected more than 15,000 images, documenting the environmental and human conditions of this country when EPA was starting its mission. The idea was to visually record the difference in conditions in later years, providing the public with a measurement of progress made to accomplish goals set by Congress.

Forty years later the project was rediscovered with the help of National Archives. “State of the Environment” launched Earth Day 2011 as an opportunity for the public to participate and engage in a modern revitalization of Documerica. There are more than 1,900 new images that have been submitted to EPA through Flickr.

The EPA photo project will continue accepting submissions through the end of 2013. Public entries will be considered for a larger exhibit of both projects set for March-September 2013 at the U.S. National Archives’ Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery in Washington, D.C.

The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 15 facilities nationwide where the public has access to Federal archival records. It is home to historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by Federal agencies in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Visit

WHERE: National Archives at Kansas City, 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, Mo. 64108

Annual Toxics Release Inventory Conference 2012

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

I recently attended the 2012 Annual Toxics Release Inventory Conference in Washington, D.C. Why, you ask, did I attend such a conference? The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) is part of the TOXNET suite of databases hosted by the National Library of Medicine, and TOXNET is one of the classes that the National Library of Medicine Training Center teaches. There were approximately 260 attendees, who primarily worked for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), either in D.C. or in one of the ten regional offices around the country.

EPCRA, the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986, launched the creation of the Toxics Release Inventory. EPCRA was created to help communities and emergency planners prepare for situations that involve hazardous substances. TRI is the public view of the reporting required by industries that deal with any of the 682 chemicals named in EPCRA.

EPCRA has contributed to the reduction of accidents and exposures to hazardous chemicals by shining a light on what is being transported through communities. This, in turn, has led some industries to begin using less hazardous chemicals. EPCRA has been called the largest neighborhood watch program in the United States. TRI helps you identify the right questions to ask when you are concerned about your environment.

Who uses TRI data?
TRI is used by a very diverse audience that includes:
Community Planners
Fire Departments
Emergency Responders
State and local governments
Concerned Citizens
Public Health Administrators
Policy Analysts

In 2011, the EPA launched an initiative to partner with colleges and universities to encourage use and evaluation of TRI data and to work with local community groups to apply the data. One goal of this initiative is to improve reporting compliance by companies who are required to report and to promote pollution prevention. The EPA is creating a TRI Starter Kit to facilitate work in communities. This is due out in July 2012.

Just as an aside, gas mileage is the number one term entered into the EPA search box.

Additional Resources

Learn about EPCRA:
Environmental information for your area:
Search across multiple EPA databases:
Pollution in Your Community
Stewardship Action Council; a wide range of organizations committed to the responsible stewardship of earth’s resources.
Cleanups in My Community

Did you know? Toxics Release Inventory (TRI)

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Owners or operators of facilities that have 10,000 pounds or more of materials designated in the regulations as “hazardous chemicals,” including propane, or smaller quantities1 of “highly hazardous substances,” as designated and specified in the regulations, must prepare and file annual reports with the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), and affected local emergency response agencies, such as fire departments, prior to March 1 each year.

Join Us in Chicago on April 4 for TOXNET® and Beyond In-Person Class!

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

There is still time to register for the TOXNET® and Beyond in-person class to be held in Chicago, IL on April 4, 2012.  This is a free class and comes with 6 MLA CE credits.

This course is designed to convey the basics of searching the NLM’s TOXNET, a Web-based system of databases in the areas of toxicology, environmental health, and related fields. The course will also teach students how to utilize NLM’s environmental health and toxicology portal which provides resources beyond the TOXNET databases. Participants will learn the content and structure of files covering toxicology data, toxicology literature, toxic releases, and chemical nomenclature. Among the databases highlighted will be TOXLINE, the Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), and ChemIDplus. The course will be conducted in a computer lab and includes lectures, online demonstrations, and hands-on exercises.

Register today!

Can’t find the vital information you need all in one place?

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Search for the information, build a resource, and then share it

There was yet again another interesting article in the New York Times that relates to toxicology and environment health. It seems that every day in this newspaper I read about something that relates to the subject matter of a National Library of Medicine (NLM) resource. Because I am one of quite a few trainers providing instruction on TOXNET, a suite of NLM resources covering toxicology and environmental health, I find something pertinent on a regular basis. The latest article of interest to me is in the February 2, 2012 New York Times Home Section titled “To Help Make Sure Your Home Is Healthy, an Ingredients List”.

The author, Fred A. Bernstein interviewed two architects who out of the need to be informed about building materials that are free of known and suspected carcinogens had to conduct their own research. Because they did not find the product information they needed for many of their potential building materials they ended up gathering the data and finally creating their own database. It is available to anyone at

Upon consultation with one of my colleagues at Specialized Information Services (SIS) division of NLM she suggested that two TOXNET resources would provide similar information. Haz-Map® is an occupational toxicology database and HSDB® focuses on the toxicology of potentially hazardous chemicals. All of the NLM web resources are free.

For two architects with a focused need it is amazing to me what they did out of need. I laud them for their generosity in deciding to share their efforts with everyone.