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Environmental Health - Toxic Substances

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where can I find information on the toxicity of chemicals?

A: The following are links to web sites where you can find information on the toxicity of a variety of chemicals.

  • U.S. Geological Survey's Columbia Environmental Research Center's Acute Toxicity Database -- A database that summarizes the results from aquatic acute toxicity tests conducted by the Columbia Environmental Research Center located in Columbia, Missouri.
  • USGS’s Contaminant Exposure and Effects-Terrestrial Vertebrates Database, Information on contaminant exposure and effects for terrestrial vertebrates (birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles) that reside in estuarine and coastal habitats.
  • USGS’s Biological and Ecotoxicological Characteristics of Terrestrial Vertebrates Web Site, Written summaries of biological characteristics and contaminant exposure and effects data for 48 coastal and estuarine terrestrial vertebrates.
  • USGS’s Contaminant Hazard Reviews, A review of the hazards of 35 contaminants or contaminant classes on invertebrates, fish and wildlife.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Drinking Water Standards - A listing of EPA's National Primary Drinking Water Regulations that apply to public water systems. Many people refer to these standards simply as EPA's Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs). MCLs are the maximum permissible level of a contaminant in water that is delivered to any user of a public water system.
  • EPA's Drinking Water Health Advisories – Information on drinking water health advisories developed by EPA. Health advisories provide information on contaminants that can cause human health effects. Health Advisories are guidance values based on non-cancer health effects for different durations of exposure.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database -- IRIS is a database of human health effects that may result from exposure to various substances found in the environment.
  • Ecotoxicology Database Retrieval System (ECOTOX) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ECOTOX is a comprehensive computer-based system that provides chemical-specific toxicity values for aquatic life, terrestrial plants, and wildlife.
  • Distributed Structure-Searchable Toxicity (DSSTox) Database Network, An EPA project that is building a public data foundation for improved structure-activity and predictive toxicology capabilities. The DSSTox website provides a public forum for publishing downloadable, standardized toxicity data files that include chemical structures.
  • Environmental Contaminants Encyclopedia, National Park Service, A collection of files (pdfs) on environmental contaminants that summarizes toxicity information related to fish, wildlife, invertebrates, and other non-human living resources. This product differs from existing databases in that it has an environmental toxicology emphasis.
  • National Toxicity Program's Chemical Health & Safety Data -- Health and safety information that has been collected on over 2000 chemicals can be accessed through this web site.
  • EXTOXNET - The EXtension TOXicology NETwork -- The EXTOXNET InfoBase provides a variety of information about pesticides. EXTOXNET is a cooperative effort of the University of California-Davis, Oregon State University, Michigan State University, Cornell University, and the University of Idaho.
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Toxicological Profile Information Sheets -- Each sheet contains information on a substance's toxicity, health effects, and potential exposure.

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