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PH 270B: Toxicology I: Understand Your Chemical Substance

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  Understand Your Chemical Substance:
  • Synonyms for the substance or chemical:
      » Try ChemIDplus or SciFinder Scholar
  • Chemical groupings or "families":
      » Try ChemIDplus , PubMed's MeSH, or SciFinder Scholar
  • Unique identifiers (e.g., CAS Registry numbers) for your chemical:
      » Try ChemIDplus or SciFinder Scholar or Merck Index
  • Physical/chemical properties or structure:
      » Try ChemIDplus or HSDB or eChemPortal
  • Methods of analysis for your substance:
      » Try SciFinder Scholar or HSDB or PubMed
  • Metabolism or mechanism of action for your substance:
      » Try HSDB or SciFinder Scholar or BIOSIS or PubMed
  Identify the exposure you are looking for
  • Route: inhalation, oral, dermal, ocular, etc:
      » Try IRIS or HSDB
  • Location: occupational, home, school, etc.:
      » Try HSDB or Haz-Map
  • Exposure level: chronic, acute, sub-chronic, etc:
      » Try HSDB
  • Exposure population: infant, child, adult, pregnant woman, fetus, etc.:
      » Try DART or PubMed
  • Expo-Box (A Toolbox for Exposure Assessors) (US EPA)
    • A toolbox created to assist individuals from within government, industry, academia, and the general public with assessing exposure. It is a compendium of exposure assessment tools that links to guidance documents, databases, models, reference materials, and other related resources.

Bold resources are listed below and links go to other pages.


  • CHE Toxicant and Disease Database (Collaborative on Health and the Environment)
    • Summarizes links between chemical contaminants and approximately 180 human diseases or conditions.
    • Browse by disease category, disease, toxicant, or search by CAS RN or disease.
  • ChemIDplus from the National Library of Medicine
    • Chemical dictionary file of over 400,000 compounds of biomedical and regulatory interest.
    • Records include names and synonyms, CAS Registry number, molecular formulas, and toxicity information.
    • Provides references to other databases including:
      • Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology Database (DART)
        • The DART database has over 400,000 citations covering teratology and other aspects of developmental and reproductive toxicology from the early 1990s forward.
        • New citations only come from PubMed but previously the database included meeting abstracts and other gray literature
      • Haz-Map
        • Haz-Map is an occupational health database linking jobs and hazardous tasks with occupational diseases and their symptoms
      • Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB)
        • Toxicology of over 5,800 potentially hazardous chemicals. About 100 records are updated every year.
        • Peer reviewed information on human exposure, industrial hygiene, emergency handling procedures, environmental fate, regulatory requirements, and related areas.
      • Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) (via compiled by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, US DHHS
        NOTE: Access limited to UCB faculty, staff and students.
        • To get started, you must register your UCB e-mail address.
        • Then login with your e-mail address in the box.
        • Search by CAS # or name in the Integrated Index Search box OR browse the specific data source: RTECS Registry.
        • Toxicity data extracted from scientific literature worldwide on more than 169,000 substances. About 2,000 new substances are added each year.
        • Includes mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, reproductive hazards, and acute and chronic toxicity on drugs, food additives, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, solvents, diluents, chemical wastes, and substances used in industrial and household situations.
      • Tox Town (National Library of Medicine)
        • Tox Town helps you see the connections between chemicals, place, and the environment. Nice place to start to get you thinking of the right questions to ask.
    • Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD) from the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory
      • Part of the TOXNET databases, CTD is supported by the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, National Library of Medicine, and the National Center for Research Resources.
      • CTD incorporates data from PubMed, ChemIDplus, DrugBank, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes, Gene Ontology, and more to show the association between chemicals, genes, and disease.
    • eChemPortal from OECD
      • Provides physical chemical properties, environmental fate and behavior, ecotoxicity, and toxicity data.
      • Searches a number of databases including U.S. EPA ACToR, ECHA CHEM (REACH database), ESIS, INCHEM, and OECD Existing Chemicals Screening Information Data Sets (SIDS) Database. See the full list.
    • Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)
      • Information on human health effects that may result from exposure to various chemicals in the environment.
      • Includes oral reference doses (RfDs) and inhalation reference concentrations (RfCs) for chronic noncarcinogenic health effects and hazard identification, oral slope factors, and oral and inhalation unit risks for carcinogenic effects.
    • Merck Index Online
      NOTE: Access limited to UCB faculty, staff and students.
      • Encyclopedia of chemicals, drugs, and biologicals.
      • Includes chemical, generic, and brand names; CAS registry numbers; physical data and literature references; structures and stereochemistry; toxicity information; and therapeutic uses.
    • NPIC InfoBase Search (National Pesticide Information Center)
      • Search for documents from the NPIC and EXTOXNET website, EPA Pesticide websites, the Federal Register, EPA Office of Pesticide Program E-Dockets from 2002 to present, print and electronic Code of Federal Regulations Title 40 - Pesticide Programs, and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
    • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards
      • Contains more than 670 chemicals or substance groupings. Find CAS number, exposure limits, physical properties, exposure routes, and more. Links to NIOSH-licensed RTECS records.
    • PAN Pesticide Database (Pesticide Action Network North America)
      • Search for data and information on pesticide ingredients and products, California pesticide use, regulatory information, etc. by chemical name or chemical category; including use, regulatory and official lists, toxicity, and classification.
      • Within California, use information can be found by crop, chemical, or geography.
    • Pesticide Properties Database (University of Hertfordshire)
      • Compendium of physicochemical, toxicological, ecotoxicological and other related data of over 1,000 pesticides of interest to the EU.