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Mobile Resources from the NLM

This week, the NLM’s Technical Bulletin had an item about mobile TOXNET access.  For those of you who are not familiar with TOXNET, it is a set of databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health and toxic releases.  It falls under a larger group of database and services available from the NLM – the Specialized Information Services, or as they are more commonly known, SIS.

To access TOXNET on your mobile device, point the browser on your mobile device to:

So – what does it look like?

The mobile version of TOXNET

Try it out for yourself.  When doing a search in the mobile version of TOXLINE for “sulfur,” I got a nice set of results back in an easy-to-read format.  My search-word “sulfur” was highlighted in red so it was easy to tell where this word showed up in the results. This is similar to the way the desktop version works.  I selected a result and was brought to an abstract of “The Use of Sulphur Dioxide as a Refrigerant.”  The author’s name is hyperlinked, so you can click on it and find other results from this same author.

In the desktop version a sentence appears “The properties and effects of exposure to sulfur-dioxide (7446095)…” with as you can see, a number.  On my iPhone, this number was hyperlinked so I assumed (wrongly) that it would lead me to something related.  My smartphone thought this was a phone number so when I clicked on it, it attempted to call it.

Otherwise, similar to the way the desktop version works, there are hyperlinked keywords at the end of the abstract as well as CAS Registry Numbers.  These worked perfectly on my smartphone.

LactMed is also on the list of databases available via this browser-based set of databases.  LactMed is also available as a downloadable app from the iTunes store.

Overall, the website is nicely done – very easy to navigate and the results come up very quickly due to there not being any images that might take time to download.



Not all of the databases in the desktop version of  TOXNET set are mobile-enabled, but here are the ones that are:

  • HSDB (Hazardous Substances Data Bank) – A factual database focusing on the toxicology of over 5,000 potentially hazardous chemicals. In addition to toxicity data, HSDB provides information in the areas of emergency handling procedures, industrial hygiene, environmental fate, human exposure, detection methods, and regulatory requirements. The data are fully referenced and peer-reviewed by a Scientific Review Panel composed of expert scientists.
  • TOXLINE- A bibliographic database providing comprehensive coverage of the biochemical, pharmacological, physiological, and toxicological effects of drugs and other chemicals from 1965 to the present. TOXLINE contains over 3 million citations, almost all with abstracts and/or index terms and CAS Registry Numbers.
  • CCRIS (Chemical Carcinogenesis Research Information System)- A scientifically evaluated and fully referenced data bank, developed and maintained by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). It contains over 9,000 chemical records with carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, tumor promotion, and tumor inhibition test results. Data are derived from studies cited in primary journals, current awareness tools, NCI reports, and other special sources. Test results have been reviewed by experts in carcinogenesis and mutagenesis.
  • DART (Development and Reproductive Toxicology)- A bibliographic database covering literature on reproductive and developmental toxicology. DART is managed by NLM and funded by the EPA, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and NLM.
  • GENE-TOX (Genetic Toxicology) – A toxicology database created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) containing genetic toxicology test results on over 3,200 chemicals. Selected literature was reviewed by scientific experts for each of the test systems under evaluation; the results are represented in GENE-TOX.
  • IRIS (Integrated Risk Information System) – A database from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) containing carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic health risk information on over 500 chemicals. IRIS risk assessment data has been scientifically reviewed by EPA scientists and represents EPA consensus.
  • ITER (International Toxicity Estimates for Risk) – This database contains data in support of human health risk assessments. It is compiled by Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA) and contains over 650 chemical records. ITER provides a comparison of international risk assessment information in a side-by-side format and explains differences in risk values derived by different organizations. ITER data, focusing on hazard identification and dose-response assessment, is extracted from each agency’s assessment and contains links to the source documentation.
  • LactMed (Drugs and Lactation) – A database of drugs and other chemicals to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. It includes information on the levels of such substances in breast milk and infant blood, and the possible adverse effects in the nursing infant. Statements of the American Academy of Pediatrics concerning a drug’s compatibility with breastfeeding are provided, as are suggested therapeutic alternatives to those drugs where appropriate. All data are derived from the scientific literature and fully referenced.
  • TRI (Toxics Release Inventory) – A series of databases that describe the releases of toxic chemicals into the environment annually for the 1987-2009 reporting years. TRI is mandated by the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act and is based on data submitted to the EPA from industrial facilities throughout the U.S. These data include the names and addresses of those facilities, and the amounts of certain toxic chemicals they release to the air, water, or land, or transfer to waste sites. Information is included on over 650 chemicals and chemical categories. Pollution prevention data are also reported by each facility for each chemical. There were two changes to reporting requirements for the 2006 data. Facilities were required to submit appropriate North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes rather than the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes previously used. To do trends analysis, EPA assigned NAICS codes to prior years’ data, so now both SIC codes and NAICS codes are searchable on TOXNET.
  • DIRLINE (Directory of Information Resources Online) – DIRLINE is the National Library of Medicine’s online database containing location and descriptive information about a wide variety of information resources including organizations, research resources, projects, and databases concerned with health and biomedicine. This information may not be readily available in bibliographic databases. Each record may contain information on the publications, holdings, and services provided.

Give it a try – let us know what you think of it.

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