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Archive for the ‘TOXNET and Beyond’ Category

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.

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